THE RECENT attack on a doctor in Dhule has brought to fore the aspect of security for medical professionals and the rising incidents of doctor-patient friction.
Two days after an orthopaedic doctor of Dhule civil hospital was thrashed by a patient’s relatives after a quarrel over alleged medical negligence, medical students have declared a mass boycott of classes on Friday in protest. The youth wing of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Maharashtra and the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) have organised the protest.
Terrified resident doctors have demanded more security on campus. “The CCTV footage shows how brutally the doctor was assaulted. The visuals are terrifying and the degree of the attack has scared many of us,” said Swapnil Meshram, a third-year resident doctor from JJ Hospital.
Students on medical campuses are raising the issue of lack of ‘well-trained’ security personnel. “Most medical campuses lack well-trained security guards. How can doctors concentrate on treating patients when they are concerned about self-defence?,” asked Meshram.
Yashovardhan Kabra from KEM Hospital agreed with Meshram. “Medical education is a long and tiring process. Doctors are overwhelmed with work. Attacks on doctors only add to their pressure,” said Kabra.
Aniket Gaikwad from Sion Hospital said that most colleges didn’t have a Rapid Action Force. “The forces should be in place to ensure quick intervention in cases of attack,” said Gaikwad.
Another concern for the doctors is the poor implementation of the Doctors Protection Act. Offenders are booked under the Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage of Property) Act, 2010, commonly referred to as the Doctor’s Protection Act (DPA). “There have been 45 cases registered under the Act so far but none of the accused have been brought to book,” said Meshram.