A doctor’s advice to shift a patient with a severe head injury to a tertiary care hospital, cost the orthopaedic resident doctor his left eye. Dr Rohan Mhamunkar, a resident doctor from Dhule Civil hospital was mercilessly beat him up with rods and cots on Sunday night by patients relatives. Dr Rohan (31), was on the duty, when the patient was brought in, with severe head injury to the hospital’s casualty ward.
According to Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), the patient required immediate attention of a neurosurgeon, which the hospital didn’t have and Mhamunkar advised the relatives to immediately shift the patient to a tertiary care. Irked by the advice, a mob of nearly thirty relatives thrashed Mhamunkar.
Apart from losing vision in his left eye, Mhamunkar also sustained head injury. “Doctors have been soft target of patients and relatives, since we are the one who are at the forefront dealing with them. The biggest problem is when mobs are allowed inside the hospital. It becomes difficult to handle a mob in such cases and our life is endangered. The government needs to ensure our safety so that we can continue our duty without the fear of being beaten up,” said Dr Yashowardhan Kabra, president, Central MARD.
This is the second incident this year, where patient’s relatives manhandled the doctors on duty. Earlier, in GMC Latur, an intern was beaten up on January 18.
Condemning the Sunday incident, MARD will be holding a candle light March and speaking to the senior government officials. Not only MARD Doctors, shocked about this incident, where doctors being a soft target and being attacked time and again, entire medical fraternity has united. Senior Doctors say, if stringent steps are not taken by the government, offering health care facility to patients will get difficult.
“This is not the first time that doctors are being attacked on duty. This is going on since a long time. Our concern for patient care is taken as our helplessness. But this has to be stopped somewhere. We condemn this mentality. We will be working with black ribbons all over Maharashtra and will be conducting candle March in the evening,” said Kabra.
Indian Medical Association, the umbrella body of doctors practicing modern medicine in India too expressed its concern on Dhule incident. “In such a situation, doctors will not be able to provide emergency services to patients under such threat. IMA-Maharashtra will stand strongly with the doctor who was at the receiving end of this unlawful incidence,” said Dr Ashok Tambe, president, IMA-State.
Last year, the Bombay High Court had given directions to appoint private security guards in hospitals. State in September informed HC that they will appoint 56 policemen in civil hospital. A total of 44 attacks on doctors have been registered in Maharashtra between January 2015 to August 2016.
“Doctors will not be able to offer their services to patients with this fear of violence. AMC supports the doctors against whom such violence has occurred and urges the state to take strong and immediate action against the perpetrators,” said Dr Veena Pandit, president of Association of Medical Consultants (AMC).
She said unless justice is swift and firm, the Maharashtra Medicare Act 2010 will lose its value.
“The whole healthcare system stands threatened with such occurrences of violence. Such incidences also bring out the deficiencies in security provided to doctors in civil and government hospitals. The need of the hour is to develop a process to prevent its recurrence. AMC stands by its commitments towards medical profession and can help initiate such a dialogue,” said Dr Ashok Shukla, secretary, AMC.