Four days after resident doctors called off their strike protesting the manhandling of a colleague, a similar incident occurred at KEM Hospital on Wednesday.
An angry relative of a patient who died on Wednesday night allegedly manhandled a medical intern on duty. Following the incident, nearly 180 medical interns at KEM Hospital went on a flash strike, which lasted for three hours on Thursday. The incident took place in the fever ward of the hospital at around 3 am on Wednesday night.
Kunal Pise, 27, who was mentally challenged, was admitted in the hospital’s fever ward on Wednesday morning. He suffered a convulsion around 1 am. Pravin Hankare, the medical intern on duty tried calling the house officer and registrar but they were busy with another patient. “The medical intern tried to revive the patient while the doctor was on the way to the ward. However seeing the patient’s condition, the emotionally charged up relative slapped and pushed Hankare,” said Dr Oak.
Pise, who died soon after, was a relative of an Ex-union worker of the hospital.
“The cause of the death of the patient was convulsions and cardiac arrest. We had a meeting with both the interns and the relatives of the deceased patient and the relatives accepted that the act was an outcome of an emotional outburst,” said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean, KEM Hospital.
Interns stopped working at 7 am on Thursday. They resumed work only after 10 am. “In the interest of our patients and keeping in mind the problems caused to them during the recent strike we are still working in our hospitals. However, we would strongly urge the government and Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to treat interns’ security at par with that of the other hospital employee,” said Dr Dhawal Shah, Mumbai coordinator, Association of State Medical Interns, Maharashtra.
“We as interns are supposed to assist procedures and not handle them alone. The absence of the resident doctor raises a lot of questions about the way interns are treated and made to work. The acute shortage of doctors in government hospitals is highlighted here as we are then forced to carry out procedures and treatments on our own,” said Dr Dhaval.
“I have instructed that a house officer (junior resident doctor) should be present in the fever ward,” said Dr Oak. Neither Hankare nor the administration has filed a complaint against patient’s relative.