People assaulting doctors should be punished like Terrorists
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20 Policemen assaulted a doctor with rods on not getting bed in Allahabad Medical College - 23rd April 2021 - amid corona crisis when there is lack of beds, medicines and oxygen. And the doctors are working day and night to save patients. But the people who are supposed to protect are the ones who blatantly abuse power.
“We are fighting for a better healthcare environment for the public of this country."
What are our demands?
- Central Law to protect doctors ( even in Non Epidemic Time) - There were assaults on doctors before Corona Epidemic; there are assaults during the corona epidemic; and, if nothing is done, thee will be assaults on doctors after the Corona epidemic.
- Punish all who assault doctors - with every assault, morale of doctors decreases. We want motivated and empathetic doctors to treat the patients of this country. Assaulters must be punished.
- Safe working environment where doctors can give their full attention to the patient without fearing assault.
- Attacks on doctors and HCWs must be Non-bailable offence.
- Justice for the attack on doctors at NRSMCH, Kolkata last year.
- Justice for every assault on doctors with fast-tracking of all cases of assault on doctors ( even retrospectively).
- Better healthcare infrastructure for the people of this country.
- Availability of all necessary medicines at all times - at times we cannot save a patient due to lack of medicines, and the public outrage is directed at doctors.
- Doctor should be able to give more time to the patients - this is possible only if the number of doctors is increased with respect to the number of patients. Government should do this.
- More ventilators in all hospitals - sometimes the patient dies due to unavailability of ventilators. And the public blames doctors. Not knowing that its the govenrment’s fault.
- The public of this country has right to be treated by doctors who are well rested and with fresh mind - but this is not possible if there are less doctors and they are made to work 48 to 96 hr at a stretch without sleep and sometimes without food. Duty hours of doctors should be fixed at 8 hrs per day and 48 hr per week.
- Patient should be given adequate time in the OPDs - Maximum Number of patients that can be seen by a doctor in OPD in one day should be fixed. If a doctor at the govt hospital treats 200 patients in 8 hours without single break, even then he cannot give more than 2-3 minute per patient.
- Doctors should spend their time in treating patients rather than collect samples, transport papers from one part of hospital to other. There should be adequate ward boys for that. This way doctors could give more time to patients.
- Restricting number of relatives who come to meet patients - Every relative who enters, brings with him germs. Number of complications increase due to this.
- Public has the right to be treated by real doctors - It is the duty of the government to clamp down on quacks. When the quacks will decrease, number of cases who reach a hospital late in critical condition will decrease.
- Rampant sale of antibiotics at pharmacies should stop - It is the duty of govt to ensure that antibiotics are not sold without prescriptions. When antibiotics are not misused, antibiotic resistance will not increase, infections can be treated and deaths due to sepsis decrease.
- Define Administrative negligence - Availability of Doctors, Paramedical staff, Adequate and good quality medicines, and equipment, stopping quacks from practicing, stopping the sale of medicines without a prescription, etc is the responsibility of Administration( IAS, IPS, Politicians, MLAs, Councillors, etc). Responsibility, accountability, and punishment must be defined.
- Increase Healthcare Spending - With meager healthcare spending, healthcare infrastructure can never improve.
- Services of a doctor are beyond consumer seller relation - The COVID19 Pandemic has very well established this. Remove services of doctors from consumer protection act and remove the draconian Clinical Establishment Acts.
Thus, if there will be better healthcare, assaults will automatically come down.
Hence the doctors are fighting the administration and government to provide better healthcare to people of this country.
Help Doctors in this Mission
"Doctors can guarantee best treatment, but doctors cannot guarantee 100% results."
India is struggling to meet the goals of reducing infant mortality and maternal mortality. There is gross lack of Emergency and Intensive Care facilities in smaller towns and cities alike.
All critical patients are referred to tertiary government hospitals where the standard of care obviously diminishes if patients flow in numbers many times more than the handling capacity of doctors there. Even tertiary private institutes are overburdened. Government medical colleges in smaller towns refer the patient indiscriminately. This is increasing the cost of healthcare immensely.
There is a need that indiscriminate referring be stopped. There is a need that the cases that can be handled at medical colleges in smaller towns be managed there. There is a need that smaller government or private hospitals and nursing homes become well equipped to deal with critical situations. But neither the doctors nor the hospitals are responsible for this current situation. The reason for this is that doctors are afraid to treat critical patients, nursing homes don't want to create facilities for intensive care and no one wants to admit critical patients. The reason is simple. In spite of the best efforts of doctors, nurses, nursing homes, hospitals, and medical colleges; a patient may die. After all, doctors are Doctors and not God. But, in an event of the death of a patient, no one will save the doctor. In the event of the death of a critical patient, nursing homes are vandalized. In the event of death of patients, angry relatives beat duty doctors black and blue as they did to Dr Amle in Parel, Mumbai and Dr Rohan of GMC, Dhule. In the event of the death of patients, even specialists like Dr Rohit Gupta of Allahabad are not spared. Incidents of assault on doctors are commonplace in West Bengal where the administration seems to have closed their eyes on assaults on doctors by their vote bank. We the brutality they did to a young doctor in DY Patil Hospital, Pune.
On 10th June 2019, a doctor fought for his life after brutal assault by a mob of 200 who were brought in 2 lorries on the death of a 90-year-old patient at NRS Medical College, Kolkata.
This happened again at Hindurao Hospital. A doctor suffered laceration on the scalp when patient relatives assaulted doctors in the casualty after death of a CKD patient.
In July 2019, a doctor was brutally assaulted after the death of elderly patient with myocardial infarction at LNJP (MAMC) hospital by a mob, New Delhi.
And then again it happened in Mumbai. 15 Relatives assault 3 doctors at Nair Hospital, Mumbai after death of 50-year-old critically ill seropositive patient.
On duty doctor of Pediatrics threatened, ambushed and beaten. All of this happened within the ward and doctor’s duty room by 25 terrorists-like patient relatives at a hospital in Odisha in 2019.
A 52-year-old doctor brutally and mercilessly assaulted, almost lost vision. The patient was his neighbor whom he took to the hospital in his own car. When the patient became serious, this is what they did to him - abducted him, threatened his wife to hand over the checkbook, made him sign cheques worth 50 lakhs, beat him and threw him on the road. This happened in 2019 too.
On 30 Aug 2019 in Assam - After a patient's death, locals got angry and brutally assaulted the doctor. The doctor died while being taken to the hospital. This happened at Teok Tea Estate in Jorhat, Assam.
On 20th February 2020, a senior and humble doctor was assaulted by patient attendants at CMRI hospital (a corporate private hospital) in Kolkata.
On 1st April 2020, a team of doctors which went to collect samples of Corona suspects was assaulted in Indore
60-year-old doctor assaulted brutally by a group of men in SDH Talcher, Odisha on 4th April 2020. This attack has happened amid the Coronavirus crisis.
On 7th April 2020, a lady doctor in Surat was harassed, obstructed to enter her own house and assaulted by people of her apartment.
On 15th April 2020, doctors and the medical team was assaulted and pelted with stones while going to collect samples from corona suspects.
On 19th April 2020 (amid the Coronavirus crisis), assault crossed all limits when the dead body of a doctor was assaulted. A mob assaulted Dead Body of a doctor with stones. Corona Warrior neurosurgeon of Chennai who died fighting Corona for the public of this country did not deserve this assault on his dead body.
On 1st May 2020, mob attacks doctors at Sagore Dutta Medical College Hospital after the death of a patient. Assaults on doctors continue despite the stringent Epidemic Diseases Act.
On 9th May 2020, in Darbhanga Bihar, an on-duty doctor was dragged off his chair and beaten by a police personnel in broad daylight while the doctor was treating patients. Allegedly he had asked the policeman to wear a mask.
On 10th May 2020, Ear of a doctor on duty mercilessly bitten off by patient attendant when the doctor asked the attendant not to enter labour room and maintain social distancing at a Medical College in Behrampur, Odisha.
On 16th May 2020, Dr Sudhakar was treated worse than an animal. He was publicly humiliated, thrashed half-naked on road, with hands tied at back by Andra Pradesh Police at Vizag. He was suspended earlier for raising voice against the shortage of PPEs for CovidWarriors.
On 30 July 2020, at Latur, Maharashtra, a doctor of a superspeciality hospital was repeatedly stabbed and attacked by the son of a COVID patient who passed away in the hospital.
On 7th August, at SMIMS , Gangtok, duty doctor verbally assaulted and threatned by father of a patient 25 week FEMALE gestation born with birth weight of 710 gram born on 06/08/2020. The baby’s father refused any treatment for the baby. When doctor on duty was explaining, the patient’s father got aggressive and assaulted the doctor by aggression and multiple unspeakable abuses and threatened dire consequences. Such matters go unreported usually.
On 7 Oct 2020, few hooligans abused , assaulted , threatened for life and outraged modesty of a female doctor on COVID duty at STNM hospital in Gangtok, Sikkim. Later the hooligans were arrested, the tendered unconditional public apology and the complaint by doctors was withdrawn.
On 13 Dec 2020, patient relatives abused, manhandled and assaulted doctors at Sikkim Manipal Medical College, Gangtok. This is supposedly the most peaceful state of India.
On 27th April 2021, DM arrested a doctor ( in charge of Covid Response team) and put him in jail because COVID cases were rising. Incidentally the doctor was made incharge only 2 days ago. This is blatant abuse of power. Administrative assault of doctor.
On 27th April 2021, patient relatives assaulted doctors at Apollo Hospital Delhi after not getting bed in ICU amid massive crisis of COVID surge in Delhi.
On 30th April, doctors and staff of Durgawati Hospital in Gorakhpur were brutally assaulted and hospital vandalised by patient relatives after death of Corona Positive patient.
The problem is not the absence of law, problem is non-implementation of the law.
"No state is left where violence on doctors is not seen. "
And now the people are getting bolder and targetting the family members of doctors too. Wife of a doctor was murdered in cold blood in Indore.
This fear has created terror in the minds of doctors. It is becoming impossible for doctors to work under so much fear. People who attack doctors should be called "Terrorist-like" because they are creating a terror in the minds of doctor against good work. They are disrupting peace and harmony of the nation. It is increasing the economic burden on the Indian society, thus threatening economic security of the nation. Stringent laws should be made to save the doctor from these unruly elements doing terrorist-like-activities and punishment must be given as that given to a terrorist.
“Doctors can guarantee best treatment, but doctors cannot guarantee 100% results."
To become a doctor is not easy. Doctor has to sacrifice his sleep – the time he/she spends caring for patients he barely knows; to sacrifice his/her youth – the time spend with books; sacrifice his family – the time spend away from home for education. But a doctor lives like an ordinary citizen.He does not demand subsidized groceries. He pays his electricity bills and phone bills. He buys all services at market rates.
There is only one thing that a doctor demands. And that is my humble request to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
"SAVE THE DOCTOR… GIVE JUSTICE TO EVERY DOCTOR WHO HAS BEEN ASSAULTED.... AND THE DOCTOR WILL SAVE MANY MORE LIVES FOR THIS NATION"
Dr. Sumit Periwal
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