After the attack on the resident doctors of King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital by the relatives of a dead patient early this week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to allot a hotline to each of its major hospitals to ascertain quick response.
“The hotlines will be connected to the nearest Deputy Commissioner of Police’s office and the police have promised us a response time of six minutes,” said Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak.
The civic body’s decision comes after several incidents of attacks on doctors by relatives of patients who died while undergoing treatment.
The resident doctors at KEM had struck work on Tuesday over an alleged assault on five of their colleagues by relatives of a patient who died. Doctors have called for the arrest of the accused and suspension of the security personnel.
KEM dean Sanjay Oak blamed the violence on today’s society. “It’s incorrect to say that this happens only in municipal hospitals, because it happens in the private sector as well,” he said, adding, “The reason is that society today is very intolerant.”
Whenever an unexpected death of a family member or friend occurs, people tend to react very explosively, the dean said. “People react in an outburst of emotion and as a result of the decreasing levels of tolerance, this reaction is often violent.”
With the growing cost of healthcare, people often feel that if they spend more on medicine, it will ensure that their near and dear ones will be cured, Dr Oak added. The BMC has also decided to hold lectures in behavioural sciences to ensure better ground-level communication between the patients and the doctors.