Doctors won’t treat for charity till govt assures them of protection

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Giving a cold shoulder to the appeal made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, resident doctors in Delhi have decided not to treat any patient for free till the government assures them of protection from frequent assaults by attendants of patients.

In May 2016, Modi had called on to the doctors to give 12 days a year to the poor, pregnant women, free of charge, in a speech to mark the anniversary of his government’s second year in power.

“No doctors working in government, non-government, and societal hospitals will participate in any charitable activity. The PM’s request to look after patients free of cost is hereby denied till he assures safety and security of doctors,” read a notice issued by the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), an umbrella body of resident doctors of Delhi.

Recent attacks on resident doctors in Delhi and other parts of the country had sparked a nationwide protest last month. Even in Delhi, more than 2,500 resident doctors have been on a strike since Monday after a doctor and a guard were assualted by a patient’s attendant at Delhi government-run Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital late on Sunday night.

“Doctors are continously attacked by relatives of patients. If the government is keeping its eyes shut, then why should we be concerned about the patients. They are giving no importance to our profession,” FORDA President Dr Pankaj Solanki said.

In Delhi alone in the last 18 months, more than 40 cases of assault on doctors have been reported, and they have gone on a strike as many as 20 times.