25 April 2017 | Last updated 02:06 PM


 
Agrowon
Delivering Change Foundation
Delivering Maharashtra
Maharashtra Speaks
Saam TV
SILC
Tanishka
Yin For Change
 

More Pune
Mumbai News
Rest of Maha
Blogs
Entertainment
Nation
Sports
Business
Features
Spike in violent attacks against doctors in state very worrisome
Rohit Chandavarkar | Monday, 20 March 2017 AT 09:57 PM IST
Send by email    Printer-friendly version


Endless Wait:  Patients waiting for treatment outside Lokmanya Tilak Hospital
(Sion Hospital) as resident doctors’ observe a strike demanding better security on Monday.


In an industrialised and urban state like Maharashtra there has recently been a rapid rise in incidents of attacks against doctors. In the past two years Maharashtra has seen close to 50 cases of doctors being beaten up by angry relatives or friends of some deceased person in hospital. That are almost two cases every month. This was never Maharashtra’s culture and the signals are very worrisome to say the least.

In the past few days these incidents have been reported in Dhule, Pune and Mumbai. The incident in Dhule was very serious where a doctor was beaten so badly that he is now likely to lose vision in one eye.  To protest against these attacks on their colleagues, over 4,000 resident doctors in Maharashtra’s government hospitals stayed away from duty on Monday, affecting the public healthcare system, an official said. The issue also came up before the Bombay High Court with an activist filing a petition seeking a direction to the doctors to report to work immediately. The patients in various government-run hospitals faced the brunt as the doctors did not report to work.

The State government has been caught napping once again. Various associations and unions of doctors have launched a state-wide agitation which has crippled the services at hospitals all over Maharashtra causing immense pain and hardship to lakhs of citizens. Doctors are protesting against repeated attacks on them by relatives of patients after the concerned patient’s death during treatment. The onus now is clearly on the government which despite repeated requests has not been able to provide proper security to the doctors.

The police force cannot be kept available at all hospitals at all times in large numbers because the police is overburdened with a lot of other work. But the State government should have been proactive and initiated some steps of either roping in ex-servicemen or ex-police constables or other security services who can be given the role of manning hospitals and ensuring doctors’ safety. Nothing has been done by the State government in two years to provide safety for doctors.

To play the devil’s advocate for a bit, one can accept the argument that there have been instances of doctors sometimes being rude or negligent when the patient is brought to a hospital. This situation creates some stress and then if the patient cannot be saved, it creates tension which leads to a backlash against the doctors. But in any case beating up doctors cannot be justified.
One of the first incidents of hospital violence was witnessed in Maharashtra in August 2001 in Thane city at the Singhania Hospital where city Shiv Sena leader Anand Dighe was brought in for treatment and he died in the hospital. Shiv Sainiks in Thane gathered at the hospital and went on a rampage. They vandalised it to such an extent that the hospital had to be shut for many days.  The Singhania family was so disturbed by the incident that they announced that they would never re-build the hospital. So vandalism by Shiv Sainiks led to the city losing a good quality hospital for ever. Over 15 years after the Thane incident it’s unfortunate that such incidents are becoming common in Maharashtra.

The government must actively take steps to prevent these attacks in the future and provide all security infrastructure to ensure the safety of doctors or else further damage would be caused to the healthcare system in Maharashtra, which is already in a precarious condition.

One of the first incidents of hospital violence was witnessed in Maharashtra in August 2001 in Thane city at the Singhania Hospital where city Shiv Sena leader Anand Dighe was brought in for treatment and he died in the hospital. Shiv Sainiks in Thane gathered at the hospital and went on a rampage. The Singhania family was so disturbed by the incident that they announced that they would never re-build the hospital. So vandalism by Shiv Sainiks led to the city losing a good quality hospital for ever. It’s unfortunate that such incidents are becoming common in Maharashtra.
 
0
 
0
 

Add Your Comment
Your Name
25 April 2017
 
Content limited to 1000 characters,1000 characters remaining.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.