Trainee house surgeons at Stanley Medical College went on strike on Sunday demanding protection.

Fear among doctors in Chennai hospital after patient slaps house surgeonTwitter: @smitha_tarur
news Health Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 11:45

Dr Devanand, a trainee house surgeon at the Stanley Medical College in Chennai was slapped on Sunday by a patient’s relative. Why? Because the patient allegedly found the injection being administered painful. Dozens of trainee house surgeons took to the streets the same day, demanding protection for doctors on duty.

According to healthcare providers, doctors are feeling the effects of the increasing cost of private healthcare.

Speaking to TNM, Dr Ravindranath of the Doctors Association For Social Equality says, “One patient attacked a house surgeon who was administering IV injection. The injection was painful so they attacked. These kind of attacks are happening not only in Tamil Nadu but across India and in many other countries. After the globalisation of healthcare, the cost of treatment has increased. Ordinary people are not able to get basic treatment. People are angry against the healthcare system and the state. They are unable to show it on the state so they are showing it on healthcare providers like doctors and nurses.”

Explaining the difference in attitude between doctors and patients, Dr Ravindranath says, “We must provide quality healthcare to all. That will help the confidence of doctors as well. Because of privatisation, patients keep doubting doctors saying he/she is doing it for money. People think doctors are doing unnecessary procedures for money. This is mainly due to privatisation of healthcare in India. Our education system should ensure that we are not producing doctors like machines. Our medical education system doesn’t have a human face. They (the doctors) must have a kind approach to patients. This is a very difficult situation. All of a sudden, the patients are attacking. We cannot predict it. There is some restlessness. Intolerance is growing among people. Doctors will not enter government sector if this continues. It will be a problem for society as a whole.”

One doctor who participated in the protest on Sunday tells TNM, “We ourselves are just learning and entering the profession. If they behave badly with us for no fault of ours, what can we do? Already this has happened and they put CCTV cameras. What's the use of cameras when we are already been beaten? Police officers are standing right there and the patients are doing this.”

While the attacker was arrested by the Chennai police, the trainee doctors later withdrew their protest.

Also read: The human cost of expanding the Salem airport

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