Allege assault on doctor by patient's relatives

Senior and junior residents (postgraduate medical students) at Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) here went on a lightning strike from midnight on Saturday after the duty doctor at the casualty was allegedly assaulted by the relatives of a patient.

The relatives allegedly assaulted the duty doctor claiming medical negligence, and destroyed hospital property after the patient died.

The patient, Meera Sahib, 68, had been brought to the casualty following myocardial infarction.

Services hit

With the residents staying away from duties, hospital services, including casualty care, were affected on Saturday. The Postgraduate Medical Association withdrew the strike around 8 p.m. following a discussion with K. Padmakumar, Inspector-General of Police (Thiruvananthapuram range).

The Medical College police have arrested one Suhaib, 35, of Irumba, Aruvikkara, the son of Meera Sahib, in connection with the incident. The second accused has not been arrested yet, the police said.

‘Vulnerable'

Senior doctors at the hospital said the incident highlighted the huge patient load and the inadequate treatment facilities at the MCH that often left the doctors vulnerable to attacks by angry mobs.

They said when the patient was brought in, no beds were free in the coronary, medicine, or casualty intensive care units (ICUs). As thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction could be administered only in an ICU, the doctors suggested that the patient be taken to Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology or General Hospital. But as the patient went into hypotension (very low blood pressure), doctors rushed him to the resuscitation area in the medicine ICU and tried to revive him.

However, the patient could not be saved.

According to MCH sources, the relatives of the patient then rushed inside the medicine ICU and brutally manhandled the duty doctor, Balavan, and went on a rampage inside the hospital.

The doctors said they were helpless against such violence. They went on strike demanding that the accused be arrested and a safe working environment be assured at the hospital.