BMCRI resident doctors boycott OPD services

Protest by resident doctors at Minto hospital on Saturday.

Protest by resident doctors at Minto hospital on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR


They are protesting over alleged manhandling by activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike

Alleging that members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had “manhandled” two resident doctors, who were on duty at the State-run Minto Ophthalmic Hospital on Friday evening, members of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) Resident Doctors’ Association launched an indefinite ‘OPD boycott’. Resident doctors from all BMCRI affiliated hospitals — Minto, PMSSY, Trauma and Emergency Care Centre and Victoria hospitals — on Saturday staged a demonstration holding placards and wearing black badges on the hospital premises.

As a result, most patients, who visited these hospitals on Saturday, reportedly had to return without treatment. Over 70% of out-patient services are provided by post-graduate doctors in teaching hospitals.

However, BMCRI Dean and Director Satish H.S. told The Hindu that patients were being attended to by regular consultants and specialists. “I have requested the resident doctors to withdraw their protest and hope they will resume work on Sunday,” he said.

Resident doctors are demanding adequate security and the arrest of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike members. Association vice-president Savitha Patil alleged that a female resident doctor was “harassed and manhandled” on Friday when she did not respond to them in Kannada.

On Friday, members, under the banner of the Vedike, gathered in front of the hospital to stage a demonstration seeking justice for victims of the recent botched cataract surgeries in Minto.

When there was no response from the hospital authorities, the Vedike members went inside and questioned the resident doctor as to why compensation had not been given to the victims. The doctor, who is from Kerala, did not respond in Kannada. When asked to reply in Kannada, she said that although she knew Kannada, it was her choice to speak in English. Irked by this, the activists insisted that she speak in Kannada reminding her that it happened to be Kannada Rajyotsava Day.

Another doctor who came to the rescue of the female doctor was also allegedly manhandled. “While two police constables witnessed the incident, no action has been initiated against the activists. We demand their arrest and adequate security to doctors. We will continue our protest till our demands are met,” said Dr. Patil.

“Most of the security guards deployed here are senior citizens who may not be able to prevent any attempt to assault doctors. We want them to be replaced by home guards. More CCTV cameras should be installed as such incidents are happening repeatedly,” she added.

After receiving a complaint from the dean, the V.V. Puram police filed an FIR and booked the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike on various charges, including obstructing a public servant from discharging duty and criminal intimidation.

A police official said, “We have received a complaint against a group of 30 members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike. It has been alleged that the group manhandled doctors and misbehaved with them. We are examining video footage of the incident.”

Issue diverted, allege victims

Victims of the botched cataract surgeries, which were conducted in Minto hospital on July 9, have alleged that their demand for justice had been overshadowed by the doctors’ protest.

“The Kannada organisation was seeking justice for patients. It has been close to three months since the cataract surgeries adversely affected the vision of 24 patients while two lost vision completely. Despite repeated pleas, no one is even talking about compensation. Yet again, the whole issue has been diverted and our plight remains the same,” said K. Bhaskar, whose wife Sujata T.K. was among those who had undergone surgery.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 6:39:30 PM |

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