The Delhi government has made it mandatory for heads of all government hospitals to file an institutional FIR if any incident involving abuse or violence by patients or their attendants against doctors is reported. The order, passed by Secretary (Health) Sanjeev Khirwar Tuesday, further states that in no case should a doctor be asked to file a complaint with police.
It will be incumbent on the medical superintendent/director of the institution to ensure that an FIR is lodged in such cases promptly by the hospital or institution concerned, rather than insisting on the hospital staff concerned to lodge an FIR,” said the order.
The move should come as a relief for doctors who have in the past been roughed up by attendants of patients.
In the absence of any guidelines from the government, the institutions were unaware about filing any FIR and the doctor had to reach out to police. Now, if such a case happens in the hospital, it is the duty of the head to file an FIR and take the case forward. This is a great step, said Dr Girish Tyagi, president-elect of the Delhi Medical Association.
Earlier this month, a woman resident doctor at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital was allegedly beaten up by the family of a patient. In January, around 1,500 doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital went on strike after a resident doctor was manhandled, allegedly by a Delhi Police head constable’s son who had come for treatment.
We have been fighting for the safety and security of resident doctors in hospital campuses. In the last few years, cases have gone up but not much has been done to ensure the safety of medical practitioners. In our previous meetings with officials, we had suggested filing an institutional FIR in such cases. We were trying to do it at our level, but now responsibility has been fixed,” said Dr Sumedh Sandanshiv, president of the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association.