It feels like people do not value those who blow life into them, whether it’s trees or doctors.
In a horrific incident that took place in Kolkata, on 11th June a young intern doctor was attacked and his skull was fractured by the kin of a deceased patient.
This took place in one of the prominent Hospitals in Kolkata – NRS Medical College and Hospital. The deceased patient was a 75-year-old man who allegedly died due to medical negligence; this still needs to be confirmed. As a result, the family and friends started creating a ruckus at the hospital and also threatened the on-duty doctors.
The hospital staff closed down the gates for their safety, however, a mob of people came in and started assaulting the doctors. Two young interns could not save themselves from the perpetrators and were seriously injured.
Doctors at NRS went on strike as no one was arrested immediately after the incident. There has been some agitation and protests on this issue but the involvement of non-medical personnel is limited.
The doctors on strike at SSKM and NRS hospitals were given an ultimatum by the CM of West Bengal. They were instructed to resume duty within four hours. The doctors, however, decided to defy this order and continued to be on strike until their demands of safety and security were addressed. The junior doctors have been warned that if they do not resume work they might have to evacuate the student residences. The doctors from other states have extended their support to this movement. AIIMs followed by Safdarjung hospital have declared a wide protest today(14th June).
Unfortunately, there are other incidents of attacks on doctors in the last couple of years. These incidents are quickly forgotten with some blaming the victims and suggesting that doctors must be held accountable. Isn’t that inhuman? Why would people decide the fate of doctors who do their best in trying to save every patient?
The young men who were just about to begin their careers might never practise medicine again for no fault of their own. Can we expect people to continue joining this noble profession in the future? If doctors are treated in this manner, who will treat patients of their ailments? Every now and then doctors have to go on strikes to fight for their right to safety and to get justice. Isn’t this kind of disruption of medical functioning alarming? But I don’t think we have any right to blame the doctors if they choose not to work because one’s own safety is important.
There has to be a widespread protest from non-medical professionals as well as from citizens against the criminals so that they get the deserved punishment. This requires more awareness because this is not just an attack on a particular profession rather this is an attack on all of humanity. Unless we all come together and speak up for our doctors such things will never cease to happen.