Doctors in a Kerala taluk hospital boycotted the outpatient ward on Friday, October 15 after a fellow medico was attacked by a group of bystanders on Thursday. The incident took place at the Government Taluk Hospital in Sasthamkotta. The doctor was allegedly beaten up and attacked by 10 persons from the Sooranad panchayat, including panchayat secretary Sreekumar.
According to reports, the group beat up the doctor for arriving late to confirm the death of a woman patient. Following the attack, the Sooranad police station has booked Sreekumar under non-bailable sections based on a complaint by the attacked doctor, identified as Dr Ganesh, who is receiving treatment in the same hospital.
The incident, according to reports, happened at 10:30 pm on Thursday. Sreekumar and others from Sooranad took a critically injured woman who had fallen into a well and had been rescued. At the time of her admission, the doctor had been busy attending to another patient. When he found the time to attend to her, it was reportedly unclear whether the patient was alive and the doctor had asked for an ECG report to confirm the death. This is when the group verbally abused him and beat him up.
Following the attack, the other doctors in the hospital boycotted the outpatient ward in a protest organised by the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA). The protest is likely to continue until the accused persons have been arrested by the police.
Over ten doctors have been attacked in Kerala in the last four months. Following this, a government order was issued stating that persons who attack doctors who are on duty can be arrested.
The Kerala High Court, too, has earlier said that necessary protection must be offered to doctors in the state from attack. The court said that unless the nurses and doctors were allowed to work peacefully it is difficult to rein in the consequences of the pandemic.
Following the incident, health minister Veena George said that strict action will be taken against those involved in the attack after speaking with the doctor.
She also added that such incidents which negatively affect the morale of health workers will not be tolerated.