Violence against medics makes them defensive in practice, paranoid in outlook

Resident doctors display placards during a protest rally at the KEM hospital in Mumbai. PTI

Even as 4,500 resident doctors in Maharashtra continue to protest against the recent string of assaults on their colleagues, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Friday ended its agitation after state chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, assured better security in government hospitals.

Resident doctors across the state are protesting in the wake of a string of attacks on their colleagues by patients’ relatives at government hospitals. The issue came to light when Rohan Mhamunkar, an orthopaedic resident doctor in Dhule, was allegedly assaulted by the relatives of a patient. He sustained serious head and soft tissue injuries, that nearly cost him his left eye.

Following the incident in Dhule, reports of similar attacks surfaced all across Maharashtra. The resident doctors’ strike, backed by IMA and Association of Medical Teachers, ultimately led to a series of written announcements by the state government, aimed to improve security in government hospitals.

The government proposed that security audits of all public hospitals will be conducted by an expert within the next fifteen days. To start with, 1,100 new armed guards will be posted at public hospitals across the state. Measures like CCTV monitoring, restriction on number of visitors, special security measures at sensitive places like the Intensive Care Unit, Operation Theatre, Emergency Care or Casualty department etc will be put in place immediately. It is pertinent to note here that the Bombay High Court will periodically monitor the implementation of these measures – every 15 days, till the process is complete.

But violence is not new to the medical profession. In medieval times, the treating physician was buried alive alongside the royal deceased. A similar practice prevailed in certain European Kingdoms until a few hundreds years ago. That the doctor is held responsible for every adverse outcome or death and is assaulted in India even today, in the 21st century, is preposterous.

It seems that people in India don’t understand that not every complication or death is a result of the doctor’s negligence. They need to understand that the doctor can only promise standard and committed care; he can not always ensure a cure.

For redressal of grievances, the aggrieved patient has many avenues – Medical Councils, Civil Courts, Criminal Courts and Consumer Courts. But how can one ever justify an assault on the treating doctor’s life or damage to hospital property? If we are going to resolve our differences in this manner, then what is the need for courts of law?

In January 2001, a doctor, Vasant Jaykar, was murdered in Khar, Mumbai, because a patient ailing with terminal liver cirrhosis had died under his care. He was known to be an extremely ethical, mild mannered and helping physician, who lived only for his patients. His murder, incidentally, was not an isolated incident. Many more doctors have lost their limbs or even their lives in similar incidents due to mindless violence of patients or their relatives.

It appears that treating serious or terminal cases has become particularly risky these days. The immediate threat to life, it seems, is not to patient but rather to the treating doctor. Then there is also the possibility of vandals destroying hospital property. The destruction of property at Thane’s Singhania Hospital in 2001 serves as an example. This prime medical facility had to shut down post the extensive ravaging.

The doctor, unfortunately, is the perceived face of the healthcare system. No matter what the infrastructural deficiency is, he has to bear the brunt of the problem. Be it a shortage of qualified nurses, lack of blood in the blood bank, scarce ambulance services, shortage of medicines and equipment;it is seen as the doctor’s problem, who ends up taking the blame and the occasional thrashing. Even in the Dhule case, since no neurosurgeon was available to take care of the patient’s head injury, Mhamunkar ended up sustaining life-threatening injuries.

The frenzy whipped up against the medical profession has reached a point where every doctor is considered guilty unless proved innocent. Campaigns to educate the consumer (read patient) have swung the pendulum to the other extreme – now every action of the treating doctor is seen with extreme doubt and suspicion.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in medicine – it is an inexact science. Here, unlike mathematics, two and two do not always add up to four.

The problem arises when some doctors or institutions, in their zeal to promote their services, start offering bogus guarantees. State-of-the-art gizmos, too, have raised the expectations of the patient to the point where he presumes a hundred percent favourable result.

Doctors at the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College protest against the recent attack on their colleagues. Firstpost/Prachee Kulkarni

Doctors at the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College protest against the recent attack on their colleagues.

Add to that the poor bedside manner, lack of proper communication skills and the doctor’s packed schedule, who has multiple attachments and many patients to look after. Thankfully, some medical schools have now introduced courses in medical ethics and communication skills.

Such incidents are setting a sense of despondency in medical profession. The doctor feels harassed and demoralised, he is beginning to treat almost every patient as a potential aggressor or litigant. He is becoming defensive in practice and paranoid in his outlook, which can not be good for anyone. A fearful mind or a trembling hand can never give efficient service to the patient.

The Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act was enacted in 2010. The Act made offences against doctors non-bailable, with imprisonment up to three years and fine up to Rs 50,000. The offender is also required to pay twice the amount of damage or loss caused to property as compensation.

The problem is not in the act but rather in its implementation.The police is not sensitised to the Act and thus does not invoke it in cases of violence against doctors. Even filing an FIR in such cases at the local police station becomes a Herculean task. Post the promulgation of this Act, there have been 72 recorded cases of violence against doctors – most of them being tried under IPC sections and not this Act – but not one has reached sentencing till date.

The doctor-patient relationship is under severe strain at this point. And unless both, the doctor as well as the patient, understand and learn to honour the finer point of their relationship, the healing process will not be complete.

The author Arshad G Mohammad is consulting surgeon and trustee, IMA, Mumbai West.

‘Public will hit you’: Resume work or face termination, Bombay HC tells striking resident doctors

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The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the striking resident doctors in Maharashtra to resume work by Saturday morning or face action.

The court hit out at the agitating resident doctors for taking “undue advantage of its sympathy,”

Irked by the doctors’ failure to resume work on Friday despite giving an assurance to the court that they will do so, a bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni said if they stretch the matter, the “public will hit” them.

The bench had on Thursday asked all the resident doctors to resume work immediately and resolve their issues with the government amicably.

But it got upset when it was informed by the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that despite the court’s order, the doctors are still on strike.

“If this is the attitude of the doctors, the respective hospital management can initiate suitable action against them and terminate their services,” said the bench tersely.

The bench, however, gave the agitating doctors time till 8am tomorrow to report back to work or else face action.

BMC counsel Suresh Pakhale today informed the court that 135 people have lost their lives in the three civic body-run hospitals (Sion, KEM and Nair) due to the resident doctors’ strike since March 20.

To this, Chief Justice Chellur said, “The life of the patients are more important than your (doctors) demands.”

“Despite assurances, if the doctors have not resumed (work), we think we made a mistake yesterday by showing them sympathy and appreciating their work,” the bench said.

“The doctors are taking undue advantage of us and our sympathy. If you (doctors) keep stretching the matter like this, the public will come and hit you. You are creating this atmosphere,” remarked an upset chief justice.

“Let the hospital management take suitable action against the doctors then. Let them all be terminated,” the court said.

Nearly 4,000 resident doctors have stayed away from work since Monday, demanding enhanced security in the wake of a string of attacks on their colleagues by patients’ relatives at government hospitals across the state.

On the court’s direction today, the secretary and the president of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) filed an affidavit stating that the association has asked all its members to resume work immediately.
“The association has no objection if action is initiated against those doctors who fail to resume work,” the affidavit said.

4500 resident doctors likely to continue agitation

Resident doctors display placards during a protest rally at the KEM hospital demanding security after an intern was assaulted by a patient's relatives, in Mumbai on Friday. PTI

Even as 4,500 resident doctors in Maharashtra have not indicated yet if they are going to end their strike anytime soon, 40,000 medical practitioners associated with the Indian Medical Association on Friday afternoon ended their strike after state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured them of security at their workplaces.

A meeting was held on Friday between Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan and representatives of the resident doctors, an IMA member said.
The representatives of IMA called on the chief minister at Vidhan Bhavan in afternoon. Fadnavis told them that security has already been provided in 16 hospitals since Thursday. “Government is working on (providing) security to doctors and more arrangements will be done within ten days,” he said.

The IMA had joined the strike two days back. The strike was originally started by the resident doctors in Mumbai following a brutal beating of a doctor by relatives of a patient, who passed away during treatment.

With the IMA associated doctors returning to work, the surging number of patients have heaved a sigh of relief as they were at the receiving end following the agitation. The civic hospitals usually cater to the economically weaker sections, mostly those who cannot otherwise afford treatment in expensive private hospitals.

Meanwhile, the state’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also gave an ultimatum to striking resident doctors to resume duty or face legal action even as the Bombay High Court gave the state-run hospitals an option to terminate their services. “Enough is enough. If the doctors fail to resume work today, government will not sit quietly,” Fadnavis said, describing as “adamant” and “insensitive” the attitude of doctors whose strike in support of enhanced security at hospitals entered the fifth day.
“We cannot leave the patients to die. I am making a final attempt to break the deadlock by meeting the doctors’ representatives. If no solution is found and doctors don’t resume work, they should be prepared to face legal action,” the Chief Minister told the state legislative assembly.

The Bombay High Court also stepped in, seeing the plight of the patients, asking the government to provide security and directing the doctors to return to work.

With the doctors away from work during the strike, the functioning of the OPDs and general wards in the government and the civic hospitals took the actual brunt.

“The OPDs in KEM, Sion and Nair hospitals have not yet become fully operational. Some doctors are managing them but it has increased the waiting period for patients,” Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital, had told PTI earlier.

Asked about the striking doctors resuming duty, Supe said, “Very few have returned to work. Hence, full medical services will not be available immediately.”

The High Court had on Thursday directed the resident doctors to resume work immediately. However, the order was not available on the high court website till Thursday night and therefore, protesting doctors decided to wait.

After the court order, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) late Thursday night appealed to the striking medical practitioners to join duty.

“The order is now available on the HC website and we find it satisfactory. Now, there is a meeting scheduled with some state ministers at 1 pm today where we will discuss the issue (about their safety) once again,” Swapnil Meshram, general secretary of MARD, had said.

After holding a meeting with Fadnavis on Wednesday, the doctors decided to wait for a copy of the minutes before taking a call on joining duty.

In a bid to end the strike, Fadnavis proposed setting up a panel to resolve security issues in state-run hospitals.

“We have been fooled in the past when promises and assurances made by officials were not strictly implemented. This time we are being careful,” said a MARD official, explaining the delay in the doctors returning to work.

Nearly 4,000 resident doctors have stayed away from work since Monday, demanding enhanced security in the wake of a string of attacks on their colleagues by patients’ relatives at government hospitals across the state.

Fadnavis’ warning to agitating doctors is unwarranted; security is a basic right

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If there is one thing that most Mumbaikars should really be proud of, it is their public heath care system. Mumbai’s major public hospitals run by the Government and the charities have some of India’s finest doctors, who are placed directly at the disposal of the public at subsidised prices. In a 2014 report released by the Praja Foundation, Mumbai had the best public healthcare system in the country. According to a report in IndiaSpend the city had 403 hospitals, with Chennai trailing far behind at the second position with 106 hospitals.

However, despite this, the fact is remains that even India’s “best public healthcare system” is in dire need of improvement. It’s woefully underfunded, understaffed and under resourced. The 2015 report released by the Praja Foundation shows that there is a 60% shortage of medical staff (Page 18) just at the State Hospitals in the City with an average shortage of 28% across the board. This for a public health system that caters to a population that is now bordering on 21 Million (210 Lakh) people.

But even then, somehow, despite these chronic shortages, the public health system in Mumbai ticks on. It manages to do so because it is staffed by resident doctors who literally work round the clock at it’s public hospitals. These doctors form the backbone of the city’s public health infrastructure.

So last Sunday, when fifteen relatives of a patient attacked a junior doctor at LT Hospital Sion Mumbai after the patient died of kidney failure, it should have shocked more people than just the medical community. Our city’s doctors work shifts of more than 18 hours a day — and sometimes that extends on to 36 hour at a stretch — to keep the hospitals functioning. Today they are being forced to strike, not to demand things like better working conditions and infrastructure, but to merely seek basic security to do their job.

To work as a doctor in a public hospital is a choice that should be celebrated. It is a service to the community and those who perform it deserve to have the right to basic safety. The Government’s response to this strike seems to be rather highhanded, from serving expulsion notices to threatening pay cuts to the striking doctors.

The government notice has, however, been kept in abeyance on Thursday after the Bombay High Court order directed the government to resolve the matter amicably, while requesting the doctors to resume work . But the Government’s response of issuing those expulsion notices itself is wrong.

It’s sad that instead of actually assuring that the healthcare system would be fixed, the government would go after the striking doctors. It is evidence of a sense of misplaced priorities. The demands of a safe working environment are not unreasonable. Add to this the fact that this was not the first time an incident like this has happened — the doctors have good reasons to be wary of what the government says. But instead, the government comes out and demonises the doctors for apparently “neglecting their duties”, which remain sacrosanct; after all it’s easy to make them the targets. The argument goes that doctors should work in all conditions as they have a sacred duty to heal their patients.

However, this argument does beg an answer to a fundamental question.

Is being subject to violence from angry relatives of the patient/members of the public now an essential condition to practice medicine in India, which is why the strike is deemed immoral by our government?

Being subject to violence in the event of failure to deliver an expected outcome shouldn’t be an essential condition to practice medicine in India and the Government should be able to guarantee that. The Government should have immediately stood by it’s doctors,  who literally work round the clock to keep this city healthy. They deserve better. It’s a matter of shame the city hasn’t stood by them through this.

CM Fadnavis appeals to doctors to end strike

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Municipal Commissioners have undertaken a security initiative for the protection of the doctors in the state.

In a two-hour long intensive meeting, the AMC (WS), the Director, the deans and the security chief among others made an individualised security plan for each hospital, defining everything clearly.

The plan lists the following instructions.

  • Different entry points for doctors, nurses, patients and the other staff members.
  • The number of passes per patients and the colour code for the passes to be kept in check and to be positively returned before leaving.
  • At any given point not more than 2 relatives to be allowed inside hospital.
  • Surprise inspections to be held to ensure that relatives remain close to patients and do not loiter around.
  • Security cameras to be scanned to throw out suspicious people.
  • Signboards to be put up all across the hospital.
  • No exits to be allowed without returning the passes.
  • Mischief mongers to not be allowed to enter the hospital again.
  • Apart from all this, 600 armed guards to be recruited from the Maharashtra state security corporation. (300 within a week and 300 after a month)


Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday appealed to the resident doctors in the state to call off their strike and assured them that the government would ensure their security in hospitals. The Bombay High Court too has asked the state to not undertake punitive action against the doctors if they resume work.

Even then, full-time medical teachers from Sion, JJ, KEM and Nair hospitals have joined the strike and have decided to continue it until they get written assurance.

“Our strike is on. MARD has not communicated anything to us. Earlier also we got verbal assurance but unless we get concrete assurance we will not end our strike,” said one doctor.

The agitation, meanwhile, has entered its fourth day today, and there is no indication of when the physicians will call off their protest.

Doctors attacked on duty will be given medical aid borne by government: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said if a doctor is attacked on duty, he will be given medical aid borne by the government.

The Chief Minister directed to provide security to sensitive hospitals with armed policeman and work for a long-term plan like monitored CCTV network.

Fadnavis proposed setting up of an apex council with the government representatives and doctors and its interaction every  three months to solve the issues time to time.

The representatives of MARD met Fadnavis to discuss their issues.

Ministers Girish Mahajan, Dr Deepak Sawant, DGP Satish were also Mathur present.

Meanwhile, the Medical Teachers Association gave ultimatum of 48 hours, and said that they want their demands to be met otherwise they would go on mass resignation.

Fadnavis earlier in the day requested the resident doctors to withdraw their strike immediately and ensured them security.

“We will take strong legal action against those who attack doctors and will ensure security to the doctors,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has ordered the doctors on strike to resume their duties and give some time to the government for providing them proper security.

The court also ordered the state government to provide security at all government hospitals so that the doctors can work without fear.

More than a thousand doctors in Maharashtra have been protesting since Monday, demanding better security at hospitals with the increase in incidents of attacks by patients’ relatives.

Health policy wants public hospitals certified for quality

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Targets safe water for all by 2020

The long awaited National Health Policy (NHP), announced a few days ago, proposes to raise public health expenditure as a percentage of the GDP from the current 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025. The resource allocation to individual States will be linked with their development indicators, absorptive capacity and financial indicators. “There will be higher weightage given to States with poor health indicators and they will receive more resources. The Policy aims to end inequity between States. But at the same time, States will be incentivised to increase public health expenditure,” says Manoj Jhalani, Joint Secretary — Policy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

While public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP will reach 2.5% only by 2025, many of the goals listed in the Policy have a deadline of 2025, some of them even sooner.

Preventive healthcare

The policy stresses preventive healthcare by engaging with the private sector to offer healthcare services and drugs that are affordable to all. It wants to reduce out-of-pocket “catastrophic” health expenditure by households by 25% from current levels by 2025. It wants to increase the utilisation of public health facilities by 50% from the current levels by 2025.

The Centre is working on introducing a health card — an electronic health record of individuals. “The health card will be for retrieving and sharing health data by lower [Primary Health Centre] and higher [secondary and tertiary] healthcare facilities,” says Mr. Jhalani. “It will be launched in six months to one year’s time in those States that show interest to roll it out in certain districts or across the State.”

Like the Health Ministry’s national strategic plan for tuberculosis elimination 2017-2025 report, the Policy wants to reduce the incidence of new TB cases to reach elimination by 2025. In a similar vein, the policy has set 2017 as the deadline to eliminate kala-azar and lymphatic filariasis in endemic pockets, and 2018 in the case of leprosy. In the case of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases, it envisages a 25% reduction in premature mortality by 2025.

Challenging ambitions

The policy “aspires” to provide secondary care right at the district level and reduce the number of patients reaching tertiary hospitals. For the first time, there is a mention of public hospitals and facilities being periodically measured and certified for quality.

But the most ambitious target is providing access to safe water and sanitation by all by 2020. As per the January 2016 Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation’s country paper, sanitation coverage was only 48%.

Other challenging targets set by the Policy include reducing the infant mortality rate to 28 per 1,000 live births by 2019 and under five mortality to 23 per 1,000 live births by 2025. According to the National Family Health Survey 4 (NFHS-4), IMR was 41 in 2015-16; it took 10 years to reduce IMR from 57 to 41.

As against 62% children 12-23 months old, who were fully immunised in 2015-16 according to the NFHS-4 data, the Policy has set a target of 90% by 2025.

Doctors up in arms against assault

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The recent attack on a doctor in Dhule has brought to fore the aspect of security for medical professionals and the rising incidents of doctor-patient friction.

Two days after an orthopaedic doctor of Dhule civil hospital was thrashed by a patient’s relatives after a quarrel over alleged medical negligence, medical students have declared a mass boycott of classes on Friday in protest. The youth wing of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Maharashtra and the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) have organised the protest.

Terrified resident doctors have demanded more security on campus. “The CCTV footage shows how brutally the doctor was assaulted. The visuals are terrifying and the degree of the attack has scared many of us,” said Swapnil Meshram, a third-year resident doctor from JJ Hospital.

Students on medical campuses are raising the issue of lack of ‘well-trained’ security personnel. “Most medical campuses lack well-trained security guards. How can doctors concentrate on treating patients when they are concerned about self-defence?,” asked Meshram.

Yashovardhan Kabra from KEM Hospital agreed with Meshram. “Medical education is a long and tiring process. Doctors are overwhelmed with work. Attacks on doctors only add to their pressure,” said Kabra.

Aniket Gaikwad from Sion Hospital said that most colleges didn’t have a Rapid Action Force. “The forces should be in place to ensure quick intervention in cases of attack,” said Gaikwad.

Another concern for the doctors is the poor implementation of the Doctors Protection Act. Offenders are booked under the Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage of Property) Act, 2010, commonly referred to as the Doctor’s Protection Act (DPA). “There have been 45 cases registered under the Act so far but none of the accused have been brought to book,” said Meshram.

Dhule doctor in ICU

The orthopaedic doctor who was assaulted by a mob in Dhule Civil Hospital was transferred to the intensive care unit of Jupiter Hospital in Thane Wednesday. According to doctors, Dr Rohan Mhamunkar has suffered an orbital fracture and an undisplaced fracture in the skull and may require a surgery. Mhamunkar had suffered several blows of rods wielded by a mob of over 20 people in the Dhule Civil Hospital on March 12, leading to multiple contusions. Dr Niharika Mehta, who checked Mhamunkar in Dhule, said in her report that his soft brain tissues were swollen in the right frontal region. A CT scan showed the sphenoid bone, situated in the middle of the skull, was also fractured.

“He was brought to the hospital late last night (Tuesday). Doctors have examined him and he continues to remain under observation in ICU,” said Dr Ajay Thakkar, CEO at Jupiter Hospital. Mhamunkar’s colleagues, however, said he was slated for a “craniotomy surgery”. The Dhule police had arrested nine persons in the case. They were all relatives of a 25-year-old accident victim who had been brought to the hospital but was referred to another hospital for want of a neurosurgeon.


Police say more offenders identified, arrests soon

The Dhule police Thursday claimed to have identified several people who vandalised the Dhule civil hospital and thrashed an orthopaedic doctor. Search for those identified is on and arrests are likely, officers said.

According to the Dhule police superintendent, the nine persons already arrested have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to murder and for assaulting a public servant, along with sections of the Maharashtra Medical Act. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has also instructed the police to take strict action in the case and propose ways of ensuring security of doctors.

Common Counselling At State Level Compulsory Now For UG And PG Courses

NEET 2017: For Medical Admission, Common Counselling At State Level Compulsory Now For UG And PG Courses

In a landmark decision, following the introduction of single medical entrance exam (NEET) in the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has now made provision for common counselling at the State level for admission to medical courses at the under graduate (UG) and post graduate (PG) levels. As per the amendments made in the relevant regulations of MCI, the designated authority at the State/UT level shall conduct common counselling for all medical education institutions in the State whether established by the Central Government, State Government, University, Deemed University, Trust, Society, Company, Minority Institutions or Corporation.

According to the ministry, the move would bring in transparency in the admission process and curb the practice of capitation fee charged by private colleges. Further, a statement from the ministry also said that the students would not have to apply to multiple agencies for admission in the same State.

After NEET UG 2016 was conducted by CBSE, the Ministry had issued an advisory on 9 August 2016 in consultation with States and other stakeholders to the States to preferably conduct combined counselling for admission to MBBS courses for session 2016-17. At the instance of the Ministry, UGC had also directed all Deemed Universities that they shall also be part of common counselling for admission in common courses organized either by State Government / Central Government or through its agencies based on the marks obtained in NEET.

The advisory for common counselling at the State level was repeated December 2016 for admission to PG courses for the session 2017-18. The advisories were issued since counselling was not covered under any regulations and the entire admission process had evolved as an administrative mechanism. But now with the amendment notifications in Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997 and the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulation, 2000, enabling legal provisions have been made for common counseling, said the ministry statement.

The counselling for All India Quota seats at under graduate and post graduate level will continue to be conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the statement clarified.

Dhule resident doctor in ICU after patient’s family thrashes him

An orthopaedic senior resident doctor, Dr. Rohan Mamunkar​, was beaten black and blue after he asked family members of a patient to take him to another centre since there was no neurosurgeon on duty. The incident took place on Sunday night at the Goverment Medical College (GMC) in Dhule, Maharashtra when a patient was brought in with a head injury.

When the orthopaedic resident doctor informed the family members that he would have to be taken to another tertiary care centre, a mob of over 20 relatives attacked him. The CCTV footage shows them hitting the resident doc with rods, among other things.

The doctor has sustained injuries on his abdomen, chest and head. He has also suffered an injury to the orbital bone that is present in the socket of the eye. The doctor who is now admitted in the ICU, has suffered loss of vision in one eye.

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has decided that they will protest by wearing black ribbons to work on Tuesday and also conduct candle light marches.

Dr Yashvardhan Kabra, president of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors and third-year PG student at KEM Hospital, Mumbai, said, “As of now, Dhule doctors are going to go on a mass bunk. Central MARD will be protesting today by wearing black ribbons and organising a candle march. We will plan further action soon.”

Probe ordered into harass charge of PG medical students in Odisha

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The State Government on Thursday directed chiefs of three Government medical colleges and hospitals to inquire into allegations of harassment of post graduate (PG) students by head of departments and professors.

Additional Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department Surajit Das has asked the Director of VIMSAR at Burla, Deans and Principals of SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack and MKCG Medical College at Berhampur to take appropriate action against the erring officials.

‘’The medical college authorities have been directed to submit an action taken report within seven days and ensure that such incident does not occur in future,’’ Das said.

It was alleged that the heads of departments and professors are encouraging PG students for their own personal and domestic work, thereby neglecting treatment of patients and education of students which is essential for their on job training.

Five days back, the Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET) had shot off letters to authorities of the three medical institutions along with Director of Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre and Superintendent of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics at Cuttack.

In his letter, DMET PC Mohapatra stated that as per the allegations, PG students are forced to do personal works by their respective department heads. The works include shopping grocery, cooking, taking children to schools, teaching their children, bringing breakfast, lunch and dinner free of cost, arranging drinks, helping them in private practice, managing celebrations like marriages and birthday ceremonies.

Apart from personal work, the students are also forced to pay hospitality cost including hotel expenses, food, site seeing and gifts for examiners during exams. Students had alleged that the activities were more than ragging since they are harassed physically and mentally.

‘’Since such allegations are grievous, we would review and conduct surprise checking by a squad periodically if the authorities fail to take any action,’’ Mohapatra stated.