A day after a Post Graduate student was allegedly assaulted by attendants of a patient at Gandhi Hospital, the protest launched by junior doctors spilled on to roads on Wednesday. Around 300 junior doctors boycotted duties at Gandhi Hospital — the largest COVID Care Centre in the State — which raised questions on how would the Telangana government hospital’s administration handle COVID-19 patients admitted there.
Apart from the patients in general wards, the junior doctors attend the patients in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). House Surgeons (MBBS Interns) and Post Graduate (PG) medical students come under the umbrella term ‘Junior Doctors’.
Though there was large scale discontent among them about work load, the way the pandemic is handled by the State government, the junior doctors expressed their demands aloud after the PG was attacked.
Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA)-Gandhi Hospital unit president Dr Lohit Reddy said that the third-year Post Graduate (PG) student Dr. Venkannagari Vikas Reddy was attending a 55-year-old patient admitted in Acute Medical Care (AMC) Ward.
The patient who was admitted four-days ago suffered from mild respiratory failure and was supported by CPAP (medical devise). The patient’s attendants were informed of the critical health condition.
Dr Vikas Reddy, who was attacked, said that despite warning the patient not to remove the oxygen mask, he removed it to go to the washroom and collapsed there. He died at around 7.30 PM on Tuesday.
“We don’t know how did the two attendants got to know about it. They ran towards the patient, saw him collapsed, and ran towards us. They threw a plastic chair which broke upon hitting against my hand. Then they threw an iron stool. I evaded and it hit my hip,” said Dr Vikas.
In a similar incident, another junior doctor at the same hospital was assaulted by attendants of a patient around two and half months ago.
The hospital which was already mired with allegations about lapses in providing treatment, plunged into another crisis after around 300 junior doctors boycotted duties. The medicos continued to protest till around 3 A.M. of Wednesday despite getting drenched in rain.
The protest which was staged within the hospital premises, was shifted to the main road of Musheerabad on Wednesday.
In a letter addressed to the State Health Minister Eatala Rajender, TJUDAs members demanded decentralization of COVID-19 cases at various levels to prevent mounting pressure on one hospital leading to crumbling of already ‘pathetic’ infrastructure.
They also demanded immediate recruitment of specialist and broad-specialist doctors, nurses, para-medical staff, ward boys, patient care providers.
Mr Rajender has invited the TJUDA leaders for talks. Hyderabad Police have arrested two people accused of assaulting the junior doctor on Tuesday night.