Agitation call follows recent assault on dentist by vigilantes
Shaken by the February 6 mob attack on dentist Raviraj and others in a dental facility in the city, whose alleged negligence led to the death of three-year-old Sirish, doctors in the city have decided to hold a protest on March 2 against growing attacks on the fraternity.
One of the doctors, who was assaulted that day, has had a brain concussion and another had subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain).
Addressing a press conference here Thursday, the doctors condemned the attack on Dr. Raviraj and said such incidents have caused a great deal of insecurity among medical practitioners.
Srimani Rajagopalan, a doctor, said: “We [doctors] work round the clock and cast everything aside to save lives. In the rare case that one of us makes an error in judgment, the response cannot be violence.”
She also pointed out that the State government had issued a gazette notification on March 2, 2009, making assaults on or threats to doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and hospital employees a non-bailable offence. If convicted, the guilty are liable to pay double compensation to the victims and face a three-year prison term.
Fellow doctor Wajahat Parveez said: “These kind of attacks have made us very insecure. When we get patients now, we have started thinking legally and not medically.” He also said the increased diagnostic procedures recommended by doctors are a result of such insecurity. “We are so scared, we recommend several tests.” When asked about the growing nexus between diagnostic centres and doctors, Dr. Parveez said: “It is illegal and unethical. There are black sheep among us as well.” He also said that when Dr. Raviraj was attacked, the media put the doctor on trial even before the facts of the case emerged.
Wali Basha, a doctor who works at the Government Taluk Hospital in Devanahalli, narrated how he had a narrow escape on February 2 when he received a road accident victim, who was in a critical condition. “After administering basic care, I referred the patient to a multi-specialty hospital. He had sustained serious internal injuries and some of his vital organs had been punctured,” he said.
According to Dr. Basha, on the way to the multi-speciality, the patient started bleeding from the mouth and nose. “His caretakers made him drink water, which is a major mistake, and that caused his death,” he said. The relatives of the deceased came back to ransack his hospital. “Luckily, I was not in my chamber. Otherwise I would have been killed” he said.