In the second such incident in a week, three doctors and a nurse at Nashik General Hospital were assaulted by a mob after a patient died during treatment.
The 700-member staffers at the hospital, which has four guards, have threatened to resign if they are not provided with more security.
The assault has taken place at a time when the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) is protesting against assaults on colleagues. Over 1,000 doctors from MARD and Indian Medical Association had staged an agitation at Azad Maidan on Friday morning. They were protesting the attack on Dr Rahul Mhamunkar of Dhule Civil Hospital who was beaten up by the relatives of a patient after he referred the patient to another facility.
Dr S P Jagdale, medical superintendent of Nashik General Hospital said that the attacks on the three doctors and the nurse took place at 10.30pm on Thursday when a patient who was diagnosed with swine flu was brought to the hospital in a critical condition. “We told the family that the patient is extremely critical and there is a little chance that the treatment can save him. They asked for a written confirmation and we gave it to them,” said Dr Jagdale.
The patient was apparently brought to the hospital after a preliminary treatment at Sangamner. “They forced us to admit the patient. However, he died during the treatment and the 25-30 people who had accompanied him turned violent,” added Dr Jagdale.
The mob allegedly thrashed Dr Rahul Patil, two trainee doctors and a nurse. “They yanked the nurse’s apron and belt so hard that it tore her uniform. Those people were violent beyond control. We have informed the local police station about the incident,” said Dr Jagdale. While none of the staffers sustained severe injuries, they suffered bruises and minor cuts in the incident.
Officials from Directorate of Health Services said that 18 guards are allotted to the hospital but only four works in one shift. The hospital doesn’t have any security personnel from the local police station.
The hospital staffers immediately called for a strike after the incident which was called off only at 3pm on Friday after the police officials filed an FIR.
Speaking about the delay in filing the complaint, the investigating officer Mithun Mhatre said that they started the procedure only after receiving a written complaint from the hospital officials. “We have not arrested anyone yet and the investigations are underway,” he said.