An ugly fight broke out between junior doctors and two relatives of a patient following his death in Ranchi’s premier Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) on Saturday.
One of the relatives claimed he was detained by the doctors, stripped and hit with batons. The other claimed he too was assaulted when he tried to intervene.
According to the police, the fracas broke out after patient Brajesh Gope’s death. Gope, 32, was suffering from sickle-cell anaemia (a blood disorder) and had been under the treatment of Dr Umesh Prasad since July 17.
“We have received complaints about the incident from the doctors and the patient’s attendants. We are investigating the matter,” Ranchi superintendent of police Anup Birthray said.
Gope and his relatives, Raju Kumar Yadav and Narendra Yadav, are from Manika in Latehar district, around 110km northwest of the Jharkhand capital.
Raju said Gope was having difficulty breathing and junior doctors took time attending to him despite their requests. “They declared him dead. Later, when we went inside the room, we found him breathing. We requested the doctors to re-examine him, but they refused,” Raju claimed.
Narendra said, “We asked them for Dr Umesh’s number, they asked us to come down to emergency section. When we reached there they started abusing us and got aggressive.”
Raju added, “Around seven junior doctors along with the guards took us to a room opposite the emergency section. The juniors doctors stripped off my clothes and attacked me with batons.”
Birsa Oraon, a sub-inspector rank officer of Bariatu police station, who reached the hospital soon after the spat, claimed he was not allowed inside the emergency. “The doctors did not allow me inside the room for around three minutes. I had to force myself into the room.”
The RIMS management has complained to the police about the patient’s relatives attacking their doctors. Dr SK Choudhary, director, RIMS said, “The patient was brought to us in the last stage. We have informed the police about the attendants’ behaviour.”
The junior doctors, meanwhile, have threatened to go on a strike from 1pm on Sunday to protest the violent behaviour against hospital staff. The irate doctors pointed out this was not the first instance of attendants and relatives of patients targeting doctors.