A medical superintendent in Mangaluru's Wenlock Hospital has filed a police complaint alleging that a person filming a video with his phone and a group of his friends threatened doctors on duty at the hospital in the early hours of Monday morning. Mangaluru police arrested two persons including Deekshit, who is seen filming the video, and his friend Nikhil, in connection with the incident.
The complaint was filed after video footage of a man complaining about the medical facilities at Wenlock Hospital was widely shared on social media. The man is heard complaining that his friend was not treated for over an hour-and-a-half and is also heard abusing doctors working inside the hospital in Tulu in the three-minute video.
The man in the video claimed that his friend, who is seen lying on a stretcher, did not receive timely treatment from the hospital authorities and was made to wait over an hour-and-a-half. “Let’s make a video and post the condition of the government hospital. The public must know that even after one and a half hours, the patient is made to sleep here (on the stretcher) and no treatment is being provided to him. The police are here (he said pointing at a police personnel), but even he can’t do anything he says,” the man is heard saying.
In the video, a patient is lying on the stretcher unattended. The man with the mobile phone in hand then walks into the hospital and begins hurling abuses and expletives at the staff and doctors working inside. He alleges that the doctors treating his friend have neglected him and are asking him to take his injured friend to AJ Shetty Hospital, a private hospital around 6.3 km away from Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru.
The police official present in the hospital attempts to calm Deekshit down, and asks him to leave the hospital premises. The man however continues to rant. He is heard saying, "This is my friend and it has been one-and-a-half hours," while pointing at wounds on the patient's head. The patient’s wounds are dressed in the video, and a nurse is seen tending to the patient at the end of it and giving him an injection.
Dr HR Rajeshwari Devi of Wenlock Hospital, in her complaint filed at Mangaluru (South) police station, stated that the person filming the video – Deekshit – was inebriated and arrived at the hospital at 4.15 am on Monday with a friend who had fallen from a bike. Hospital authorities maintain that the patient was treated immediately. “The doctors administered primary care, including X-ray, but when they advised the patient’s friends to take him for a CT scan, they demanded an ambulance to take him to a private hospital and abused the hospital staff,” she said.
Dr Rajeshwari added that the patient had arrived at the hospital with injuries in his scalp and neck. "The patient was assessed immediately after being brought in, in a method known as triaging (wherein airway, respiration and circulation of the patient are assessed). He was found to be normal. He underwent scans to rule out any internal injuries and had been placed on intravenous fluids," she said.
However, it is at this point that hospital authorities admit that there was a delay in moving the patient to the CT scan facility next to the building.
"It was decided that a CT scan would be needed to rule out a head injury. He was not in need of any active help and as seen on the video, he had already been dressed by the doctors. However, at this point the patient's friend began filming a video and abusing doctors working in the hospital at the time.The group was close to physically assaulting our staff," Dr Rajeshwari said.
According to her, the patient was made to wait since the ambulance which takes patients to the CT scan facility next to the hospital was transporting another patient at the time. "We did not suggest that the patient should be transferred to another private hospital," she said.
A case under section 504 of the IPC (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and sections 3 and 4 of Karnataka Prohibition of Violence against Medicare Service Personnel and Damage to Property in Medicare Service Institutions Act, 2009 was registered by police officials in Mangaluru (South) police station. Police officials are investigating the claims made by Deekshit in the video. They are also looking for others accompanying him.
The incident has come to light amid the nationwide protests over the assault on doctors working at NRS Hospital in Kolkata. In the last two days, medical services in Karnataka and across major Indian cities were hit after the Indian Medical Association's call for a nationwide strike. A black badge protest was also held in Mangaluru on Friday. The protests have been called off now.