Doctors warn of suspending duties over ruckus at COVID-19 ward

Resident doctors of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI speaking to hospital administrators on Monday about the mob attack.   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Members of the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI) have threatened to suspend non-emergency services at the college-attached hospitals if immediate action was not taken against those who caused ruckus at the COVID-19 ICU ward in K.R. Hospital on Sunday night and verbally abused doctors and nursing staff attending to critically-ill patients.

Barring duties at the COVID-19 ICU ward and the emergency ward, all non-emergency services, including out-patient services and surgeries, would be withdrawn from Tuesday if the people behind Sunday night’s incident were not booked immediately, said RDA Vice-President Shivananda after staging a protest against the incident on Monday.

The resident doctors staged the demonstration in protest against the alleged attempt to assault doctors and submitted a memorandum to the dean and director of the MMCRI listing out their demands for implementation. Police visited the hospital and enquired about the incident.

Confirming the incident, MMCRI Dean and Director C.P. Nanjaraj said a group of 30-40 people tried to barge into the COVID-19 ward (at old Sri Jayadeva building) at K.R. Hospital following the death of a COVID-19 patient on Sunday night. A security guard suffered some injuries after he tried to stop the mob from barging into the ward and a police complaint had been lodged in this connection, he said.

The incident has also been brought to the notice of the Principal Secretary, Medical Education, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mysuru, Dr. Nanjaraj said, adding that a glass door and a window had been damaged in the incident.

The staff, including the doctor, could have been in trouble if they had not closed the door from inside stopping the mob from barging in. In the meantime, the police intervened and dispersed the people. However, the incident has been taken seriously and more security for the safety of doctors and staff had been sought, the dean told The Hindu.

However, the RDA, in a statement here said, this sort of incident is not new in K.R. Hospital but no action had been taken for doctors’ safety.

Carrying out attacks on hospitals and doctors is a heinous act and has to be condemned. Despite repeated appeals to the higher authorities, no corrective measures had been taken and security at hospitals had not been improved. More such attacks will happen in the days ahead if the matter is not taken seriously and immediate steps were not taken, the RDA said.

Dr. Shivananda demanded an FIRand arrest of the persons behind the attack within 24 hours. “In this connection, we met Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri and submitted a memorandum. We want immediate beefing up of security at the SARI ward and COVID-19 ICU ward where the COVID-19 patients are being treated,” he said.

As a mark of protest, the resident doctors on Monday boycotted daily rounds of the wards but carried out OP services.

The demands of the RDA include deployment of home guards for round-the-clock security in hospitals on the lines of Bangalore Medical College, particularly in emergency ward, COT, triage, COVID-19 ICU, SARI ward, SICU, OPDs and HDU.

The RDA has also demanded appointment of nursing staff and Group D employees.

Dr .Shivananda claimed that the late-night incident caused panic among the COVID-19 patients being treated at the ICU. “The incident disturbed the staff who have the task of continuously monitoring the oxygen saturation levels in patients.”

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 9:35:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/doctors-warn-of-suspending-duties-over-ruckus-at-covid-19-ward/article34359900.ece

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