Doctor manhandled at AIIMS; colleagues go on strike

Indian Medical Association (IMA) members and doctors during a strike in protest to show solidarity with their counterparts in West Bengal, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

A junior resident doctor at the emergency ward of the AIIMS Trauma Centre was allegedly verbally abused and manhandled by the attendants of a patient late on Sunday night, following which his colleagues at the premier institute have gone on a strike withdrawing all nonessential services till Tuesday morning.

The AIIMS Resident Doctor's Association (RDA) said services at outpatient departments (OPDs) and routine operation theatre, and ward visits have been withdrawn from Monday noon till 6 am Tuesday, but emergency services such as ICU, casualty and labour room services are available.

This comes against the backdrop of the medical fraternity holding protests all over the country in solidarity with the junior doctors in West Bengal who are on a strike since Tuesday after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.

The incident took place around 11.30 pm Sunday in the emergency ward of the AIIMS Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre when a patient with a foot injury reached there for treatment, president of AIIMS Resident Doctor's Association (RDA) Dr Amarinder Singh Malhi said.

"The patient arrived with his attendants. The doctor on duty was attending to a high-risk patient at that time when the attendants asked him to attend their patient on a priority basis.

"The doctor asked them to wait for a while saying he attending a high-risk patient who required immediate medical care. He told them that he will definitely attend the patient. But the attendants started verbally abusing the doctor and even manhandled him," Dr Singh claimed.

"The medico at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre was allegedly assaulted for giving preferential care to a critical patient," the RDA said in a statement and demanded enactment of a comprehensive central law for checking violence on doctors and healthcare staff at hospitals.

Police said a case has been registered after the AIIMS doctors filed a complained.

According to a senior police official, two persons have been detained for allegedly misbehaving and abusing the doctor while the third accused is absconding.

However, after the incident, resident doctors of the AIIMS in Delhi, which earlier had decided not to join a nationwide strike keeping in view patient care announced the withdrawal of all non-essential services from Monday noon till Tuesday 6 am.

Doctors of the AIIMS also held a protest march on the campus between 8 am and 9 am. 

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