Junior doctors at Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal protested against lack of security after one of their colleagues was allegedly attacked by relatives of a patient late on Sunday night, exposing the state of affairs at the top state-run healthcare centre in the city even after the chief minister’s surprise inspection.
Top officials of the medical education department were reshuffled on Friday, soon after Shivraj Singh Chouhan was reportedly upset over the mismanagement at the hospital, the teaching facility of the Gandhi Medical College.
Hours before the assault on junior doctor Kshitij Jain, a 22-day-old baby died in the hospital on Sunday evening.
As a mark of protest against the attack, about 400 junior doctors worked with black bands on their arms on Monday.
Police said Imarti Bai (45), a resident of Jehangirabad, was brought to Hamidia after she met with an accident in the lift of Rasool Ahmed Siddiqui Gas Relief Hospital. The medical officer present declared her dead, and asked Dr Kshitij Jain to check the woman again. The woman’s husband and Kshitij had a heated exchange of words that led to the manhandling of the doctor. Two of the attackers were arrested, police said.
This is the second attack in less than a week. On December 20, junior doctors called a strike after relatives of a patient allegedly assaulted their colleagues.
After the Sunday night ruckus, heavy police force was deployed on the hospital premises. Medical education director GS Patel, new dean Dr MC Songara, superintendent Dr Deepak Maravai and Bhopal commissioner Ajatshatru Shrivastava reached Hamidia, and assured junior doctors of more police force and security.
Junior Doctors’ Association secretary Dr Avinash Thakur said three policemen were deployed at the newly set up police post at Hamidia. “Two of the policemen were sleeping; one came when the incident happened and could not do anything as about 25-30 relatives of the deceased attacked the doctor.”
Budget of ₹6 crore announced for cleanliness and medicines
Collector Nishant Warwade and principal secretary (health) Gauri Singh also inspected the hospital in the evening. Singh announced a budget of ₹6 crore for cleanliness and medicines. “The JP hospital will share its medicine stock with Hamidia hospital from now on,” he said.
Junior doctors demanded more security guards on the Hamidia hospital premises. The hospital, which has now 59 guards, needs at least 350, sources said.
“Our administration is trying hard to improve things. More guards will be appointed, and better cleanliness and treatment ensured in coming days,” dean Songara told HT, refusing to say when the hospital would get CT scan and MRI machines.