HYDERABAD: Attacks on doctors and hospitals is creating deep-seated fear in them, leading to some medical practitioners not taking the risk of treating critical cases where chances of survival are low.
According to practising doctors and heads of medical associations, most of these doctors are now referring such cases to government hospitals. They said that if the attacks continue, it could lead to a situation where people will not find doctors who will attend emergency cases.
President of Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association (HRDA) Dr K Mahesh Kumar said that in some critical cases, chances for a patient to survive could be low. He said that there are innumerable cases where patients survived after doctors put in efforts and in some cases patients die though best treatment was provided.
However, he opined that now, some doctors are passing critical cases to government hospitals. “These incidents have definitely created fear among the doctors and some are refraining from attending high risk cases fearing attacks in the even of patient’s death” Dr Mahesh Kumar said.In fact, Dr Ravinder Rao, past president of Telangana Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (THANA), said that around 25 to 40 hospitals were shut down to avoid such incidents.
Four ways to deal with negligence cases
Practising doctors and representatives of doctors associations said that emotions, frustration among attendants reaches tipping point when a patient dies and there is always a possibility they will pour out their emotions by attacking doctors and hospitals. But what are legal ways of one can opt for in case they suspect doctors or hospitals were negligent in providing treatment? Whenever such complaints are lodged with police, an investigation board comprising medical experts is constituted to look into the case. Dr G Narender Reddy, a medico-legal consultant who investigated and found medical negligence in some cases, said that there are four legal ways people can opt.
“The most important one which is accessible to every citizen is Consumer Forum. They can also take the complaint to medical board at all corporate hospitals. If it is a government hospital, they can approach Resident Medical Officer. Or, they can lodge complaint with police. If a case is registered, they will take files and launch investigation. Depending on speciality, a board will be constituted with experts in the field,” Dr Narender Reddy said.He added that another appropriate body is State Medical Council which deals with medical negligence cases.
‘People may not take up the profession’
THANA’s General Secretary Dr G Narender Reddy said that if such violence (against doctors and hospitals) is encouraged, people would hesitate to taking up medical profession. Dr B Pratap Reddy, president of the Indian Medical Association-Telangana State, said that such incidents will affect the critical clinical decisions doctors have to take while treating emergency patients