CHENNAI: High drama prevailed at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital on Thursday when over 1,000 doctors pursuing post graduation and house surgeons of medical colleges in the city staged a ‘road roko’ on EVR Periyar Salai to protest the alleged assault on a duty doctor by a patient’s relative.
Traffic on one side of the arterial road was affected for over four hours because of the protest.
Police said that it all started when a group of attenders came to visit J Vijay (24), a student of Adhiparasakthi Engineering College, Melmaruvathur, who had been admitted in the casualty ward on March 14 after being attacked in his college. The student, it is said, had allegedly shared a content about his college’s poor infrastructure and facilities on his Facebook page recently. His relatives and friends on Thursday came as a group to see Vijay, who was shifted to the Septic Ward.
“A PG doctor Vinotha was on duty when the visitors barged in. She told them not to enter the ward as a group. The agitated group entered into an argument and in the process assaulted the doctor. When Astosh, a house surgeon came to her rescue, the mob attacked him also. Then the police suggested a compromise,” police said. As information about the assault spread, house surgeons and doctors pursuing post graduation from various medical colleges in the city, who were already staging a protest in connection with another issue, sat on EVR Periyar Salai demanding security for duty doctors.
The protestors also shouted slogans against media saying they are spreading wrong information about doctors. A section of mediamen staged a road roko alleging attack on them by doctors, when they went to take visuals of the incident at the Septic Ward simultaneously.
Meanwhile, patients on the campus staged a protest inside the RGGGH campus saying that medical services were affected ever since doctors started their protest.
“My husband was admitted to the Orthopaedics department over 20 days back as he suffered spinal injury. The doctors have planned for surgery. We also had a lot of formalities to finish prior to it like enrolling in Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. The other tests also had to be done, but as there were no PG doctors, the process and also fixing a date for surgery were delayed,” Nalini from Vellore said.
Meanwhile, relatives of patients also alleged three deaths were reported at the time of the protest at the casualty due to doctors’ protest. K Narayanasamy, dean, (in-charge) clarifying on the issue said, on the day, there were only two patients admitted to the casualty ward. One Sudhakar (55), a lung patient and Govindammal (80), which is a trauma case. “They are on treatment and alive,” he added. He further said, ever since the protest by doctors in support of one of their colleagues, Sudheer, started assistant professors were posted on duty.
P Balakrishnan, State secretary, Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association, said attacks on doctors by patients’ attenders were on the increase in recent times. “There was no security for duty doctors in the hospital. A two- tier security should be provided for doctors. Unnecessary entry of attenders should be prohibited. The police should take action under the Hospital Protection Act.” The protest was called off after a complaint was filed by Narayanasamy against those who attacked doctors.