Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 8 (IANS) The Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA), a powerful body representing government medical doctors in the state, has written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over repeated incidents of assault on doctors while on duty.
In a memorandum presented to Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday, the medical organisation told him that doctors are being attacked frequently who are working tirelessly and interacting with the patients. The KGMOA demanded immediate arrest of those who attack doctors on duty.
The recent provocation for this petition was the attack on Malu Murali, a woman doctor at the Government Fort Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, by two persons on Friday morning. The doctor was on duty when she was attacked by two persons -- Rasheed of Karimadom and Rafeeq of Vallakadavu.
Malu Murali told IANS, "Two persons had arrived at the hospital late evening and jumped the queue while asking for medical help. When I asked the reason for the injury, they got provoked and used derogatory language. The duo twisted my arm as well as kicked and assaulted me. I fell down and they tried to disrobe me even without thinking that I am a woman."
She said, "They were under the influence of drugs. I am sure that it was not alcohol. There was no smell of alcohol and they were not sluggish, instead their energy level was high giving indications that they had taken some drugs. It was a harrowing experience and my body is still in pain. The security staff who tried to save me was also attacked. It was a frightening experience."
The woman doctor underwent treatment at the Thiruvananthapuram General hospital and is now back on duty.
The police have arrested two persons with criminal records -- Rafeeq (38) of Vallakadavu and Rasheed (42) of Karimadom colony and both have been remanded to judicial custody.
The KGMOA in its petition demanded that the criminals who assault the doctors filed a counter case that the doctor had attacked them.
The doctors' body said if such a case comes up, a panel has to be formed and an inquiry conducted before initiating a case against the doctor concerned. The Government Doctors Association said in such cases a police official not below the rank of Superintendent of Police should look after the investigation.
The KGMOA is angry that the attack against doctors in the state has been a recurring phenomenon. Last Monday evening a doctor at Parasalla Government Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram was attacked by four persons in an inebriated condition.
Sanoj, a doctor who was on night duty, was assaulted by four persons last Monday causing injury to him. Unnikrishnan, Superintendent, Parassala Government hospital, speaking to IANS said, "Sanoj, who was on night duty on Monday was brutally attacked and he suffered injuries. We had to resort to a lightning strike to bring the culprits to senses. This cannot happen always and if the police and government don't take stringent action, situation will go out of hand as doctors are working 24/7 without rest and it is really unfortunate that we have to bear the assault of criminals."
The KGMOA has demanded to set up a police aid post at all government hospitals for the doctors to work in a secure atmosphere.
The Thiruvananthapuram District Collector, Navjhot Khosa has already announced that the district administration would sanction CCTV cameras at Government Fort hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, using the National Health Mission (NHM) funds. Setting up of CCTV cameras in all hospitals has been another major demand from the doctors' organisation.