A senior orthopedic consultant from Warangal in Telangana was attacked by a group of people during his clinic hours on Wednesday. Dr Sudheer, an orthopedic surgeon practicing at Balaji Hospital in Warangal was tending to a young female patient who had come to his clinic with complaints of lower back pain. He was taking her clinical history in the presence of two other female medical personnel as well as another four people who were sitting in the waiting area of the outpatient clinic when he asked her to turn around in order to examine her.
CCTV footage shows the woman turning around and the doctor beginning to examine her. Within seconds she jumps up leaving the doctor visibly shocked.
A male patient sitting in the OPD stands up and comes near the woman who is seen gesturing toward the doctor. She then takes her bag and is seen yelling at the doctor and is prompted by the male patient. Moments later she reappears accompanied by another man and a few other male attenders. They all can be seen speaking and gesturing and confronting the doctor. One of the men begins to confront the doctor and takes out his phone and leaves.
After this, the woman’s husband apparently returned with more people and began to abuse the doctor. She lodged a complaint with Matwada police station alleging that the doctor had inappropriately touched her. Following this an FIR was lodged against the doctor under section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In response, the doctor too filed a complaint against those who attacked him and an FIR was lodged under sections 385 (Putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion), 448 (Punishment for house-trespass), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), as well as under the Andhra Pradesh Medical Protection Act.
The Andhra Pradesh Medical Protection Act was passed in 2008 prior to bifurcation of United Andhra into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The Act states that violence against medical care service personnel and damaging property of medical care service institutions are prohibited.
“We have taken both the woman’s and doctor’s complaint. CCTV footage has been obtained from the hospital and investigations are currently underway,” said SI Ramesh of the Matwada police station to TNM. While he declined to comment further on the issue, the Telangana branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is confident that the police will side with them.
“The CCTV footage is quite clear. It is evident that the doctor was only carrying out a standard examination and nothing more. We stand by him and are hopeful that the police will do the needful,” and IMA source stated to TNM.
This incident comes just a day after doctors across the nation were outraged after a young student-doctor was assaulted in Kolkata by the members of a patient’s family and has sustained a grievous head injury.