Around 300 PG doctors at Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital— the primary Covid-19 hospital in the city—went on strike late Tuesday night after a colleague was assaulted by the relatives of a patient who died of the virus. Police said two people have been arrested; however doctors across Telangana have boycotted work, demanding better security.
The patient, a 55-year-old with comorbidities, succumbed on Tuesday night, following which his relatives attacked the duty doctor first with a plastic chair, and then with a metal chair, injuring his hip.
Following the attack, all the doctors poured out of the hospital and staged a demonstration. The doctors were on Wednesday joined by their colleagues from across Telangana, who too boycotted work. Various associations of junior and resident doctors condemned the attack and demanded better security and protection for the doctors.
The striking doctors blocked the road outside Gandhi Hospital, demanding that the state Health Minister meet them and assure them of security.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Zone) Kamleshwar Shingenavar said that the two persons who attacked the duty doctor have been arrested. “A case under relevant sections of IPC, Epidemic Diseases Act, and Telangana Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act has been registered against them,” he said.
This is the second attack on a duty doctor at Gandhi Hospital in 2020. On April 1, the family members of a patient who had died assaulted a doctor, following which the state government had promised to post police personnel at the coronavirus ward to prevent any such incidents in the future.
However, doctors say the security is inadequate, and as more people are abusing and attacking doctors, they need more security.
“Tuesday night’s incident was a vicious attack. Apart from the duty doctor, they threw chairs on the woman duty surgeon and five nurses. When a similar incident happened in April, the Health Minister and police commissioner gave us assurance of safety and security. But again this happened for the second time, so we demand a special protection force for doctors. We are also demanding that the government decentralise Covid cases from Gandhi Hospital to all other hospitals,’’ Dr K Anvesh, president of Telangana Doctors Federation said.