Doctors have boycotted work in three districts of Kosi division in Bihar following a brutal attack on a government doctor allegedly by attendants of a patient who died in the Supaul district hospital early on Sunday.
Dr Sachidanand Rai was attacked by people who were with the patient, Neena Devi, who doctors’ claim was brought to the hospital in a critical condition and died immediately after her admission.
Immediately after the incident, doctors boycotted work and threatened to paralyse medical services in the three districts, Supaul, Madhepura and Saharsa, if culprits were not arrested in the next 72 hours.
Kosi division comprises of the three districts.
“For now, we have spared the emergency services, but if action is not initiated against those responsible for the crime in next three days, doctors of the entire division would strike work completely for an indefinite period,” said secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Kosi division, SN Yadav.
Defending Rai, Yadav said the patient had been brought to the hospital in a critical condition and she died immediately after her admission.
“Dr Rai, who was on emergency duty, could not do much to save the patient’s life, who was already gasping for breath,” said district unit secretary of the Bihar State Health services Association (BSHSA), CK Prasad.
“After her death, infuriated attendants of the patient brutally thrashed Dr Rai, inflicting grievous injuries on him,” said Prasad.
An FIR against Dilip Shah, husband of deceased and some unknown persons have been lodged, said SP Supaul, Kumar Akla.
“We are keeping a close watch on the development and would hold an emergency meeting to chalk out our future course of action,” said general secretary of BSHSA, Ranjit Kumar.
Besides demanding action against those guilty, doctors have also asked the state government to provide adequate security to them at their work places.
Kumar said the Supaul incident was not an isolated case. “Cases of attack on doctors and threat calls for ‘rangdari tax’ have been reported from different parts of the state, as members of the medical fraternity have become soft targets for criminals,” he said.
Last year more than 160 terror stricken medical doctors in the state had applied for arm licence to protect themselves from criminals. The list included 41 doctors from Kosi division alone.
Kumar told HT that as per reports, no doctor had been granted licence to possess arms.
Taking serious cognizance of the incident in Supaul, Bihar health minister Tej Pratap Yadav on Sunday assured the agitated doctors that government would take action against those responsible for the crime.