Lady doc assaulted, strike at LNJP

Lady doc assaulted, strike at LNJP

Doctors stop work after patient's relatives rough up their colleague

Health services at Lok Nayak Hospital in central Delhi were crippled on Thursday as doctors went on a strike after a  woman colleague was allegedly assaulted by a patient and her relatives late on Wednesday night.

Even new emergency patients were turned away, mostly from the main gate itself of the government-run hospital.

Many patients already at the hospital in other departments were also refused treatment. They were seen leaving for other hospitals. Services in all departments were paralysed, even as the few consultants not on strike tried to take charge of the situation.

The fracas took place at around 10:30 pm on Wednesday after a pregnant woman arrived at the gynaecological department.

Doctors said that due to the rush, and because the doctor on duty, a senior resident, was treating a more serious patient, the woman was asked to wait for a while.

The delay infuriated the patient and her relatives who allegedly began assaulting the doctor. “They slapped her, tried to strangle her, tore her clothes and even confined her to a room,” said a resident doctor.

The doctors' anger was fuelled by reports that their colleague was also threatened with rape. “The mob was 15-odd strong and threatened the doctor of rape,” said Dr Ajeesh Sankaran, president of  the hospital’s Resident Doctors’ Association.

Alok Kumar, deputy Commissioner of Police (Central), said that the victim has filed a case of assault and molestation, but has not said she was confined anywhere.

“But we are looking into all aspects of the attack in our investigation. We have dispatched police teams to nab the culprit,” the officer said.

After the incident, doctors at the hospital went on strike, which continued on Thursday.
They said that they would call off the strike only after the accused is arrested and security strengthened at the hospital.

The doctors, who remained gathered at the administration building throughout the day, were joined by students from Maulana Azad Medical College.

There were complaints from the patients as well.

K P Singh, brother-in-law of Neeraj, a patient who had recently undergone surgery, said he was being forced to take him to another hospital as Lok Nayak doctors have told them to look for treatment elsewhere.

“Why should all the patients suffer for the mistake of one patient? Why should I have to take my family to another hospital midway in the treatment?” he said.

Aggrieved patients alleged that the doctors at the hospital were often rude with them, which triggered such incidents.

Meanwhile, since there were very few patients in the emergency department, hospital employees used the opportunity to go about cleaning the beds and other maintenance work.