Delhi

Report calls for ramping up medical services to riot victims

A shop in Gokulpuri’s scrap market set ablaze by rioters.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF), one of the first groups to send medical relief to riot-hit parts of north-east Delhi, on Wednesday came out with a report on the medical emergency in the wake of violence here. The report details the role of police and calls for ramping up of medical services.

A team of about eight doctors, under the banner of PMSF, had made repeated attempts to reach Al Hind Hospital in Old Mustafabad, which had reportedly been overrun with victims with grievous injuries, on February 24 and 25. However, they were allegedly stopped by the police as well as rioters, the group said. Ambulances were only able to reach the area following a High Court directive to the police to ensure safe passage, it added.

Al Hind Hospital, which catered to about 30-40 patients a day, had more than 200 patients on February 24 itself, the report reads. Quoting a doctor at the hospital, it says: “These people [referring to attackers] had severely assaulted the victims that they were dying of agony and we had nothing in our hands. Despite being doctors, we couldn’t do much because the vital organs were punctured. Some had their skulls open from both sides with knives. Police had even beaten up a pregnant woman brutally.”

Services at the hospital were reportedly kept up by the relentless efforts of registered medical practitioners and volunteers from the area before help could arrive.

Medical response

The report also calls into question the “sincerity and quality” of medical response from the government. It states that “even as the bodies in the GTB Hospital mortuary were mounting, the hospital authorities failed to perform the post-mortems on time as they were waiting for “instructions” from the government”. Post-mortems were finally carried out only after the Delhi Minorities Commission ordered the hospital Superintendent to conduct the procedure on all cases within 24 hours of their arrival, it added.

A statement by the group lashes out at the poor state of health infrastructure in the area with “not even one mohalla clinic in the entire Mustafabad” and the publicly funded health insurance scheme not working out.

The team, which had reportedly set up a medical camp at the Idgah in Mustafabad, in a statement, called upon government authorities to organise efforts to “heal the physical, mental, physiological, and financial wounds which have disfigured the lives of people,” an effort that could not be managed by civil society alone, they argued.


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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 5:42:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/report-calls-for-ramping-up-medical-services-to-riot-victims/article31094154.ece

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