Indian Medical Association (IMA), Ludhiana, held a protest rally on Thursday to mark their resentment against the recent incident of alleged hooliganism at the Arora Nursing Home, Bata Than Singh Chowk.
IMA members and doctors from the nursing home joined the rally, which started from Arora Nursing Home and ended near Shingar Cinema. The protest also caused traffic snarls for nearly 20 minutes.
Holding banners criticising interference of political leaders in working of doctors and their blackmailing, doctors raised slogans for justice and action against those who damaged the nursing home property and disturbed the working of the hospital, thereby causing inconvenience to patients.
Dr DP Singh Arora of Arora Nursing Home, said in this specific case, the patient, Jyoti, who had acute asthma with severe pulmonary tuberculosis, was admitted at the Arora Nursing Home on July 20 in a critical condition. “After initial stabilisation, her relatives were told to shift her to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) as the prognosis was poor. But they refused to do so under written informed consent and wanted treatment to be continued at Arora Nursing Home only,” Dr Arora claimed.
“Jyoti showed improvement but at 8:40am on July 23 she again became critical, when her attendants were again told to shift her to CMCH. But, they again refused due to financial problems. Despite best efforts of the treating team, the patient died, following which the attendants started creating ruckus at the nursing home and called few hundred people in their support,” he further claimed.
Dr Raj Kumar Sharma, president, IMA Ludhiana, said IMA had submitted a complaint to Division Number 3 police station after a few self-claimed leaders, Ramesh Bangar and Mukesh Khatri, instigated people, who started pelting the hospital with stones and damaged its property. He said a few people even used abusive language against Dr Arora and hospital staff and threatened them of physical assault.
“Bangar and Khatri also demanded Rs 5 lakh to settle the matter,” Dr Sharma alleged.
Dr Manoj Kumar Sobti, former IMA Punjab president, said patients and their relatives should approach various forums for redressal of their grievances. “Damage to the hospital property is a cognisable offence under the Punjab Protection of Medicare Services Persons and Institutions (Prevention of Violence and damage to property) Act 2008. The IMA has time and again demanded that this act should be implemented in letter and spirit and the life and property of doctors be protected. Doctors can discharge their duties well only under such conditions and a tension-free atmosphere,” Dr Sobti said.
The protesters said if no action was taken against the accused, they would intensify their protest.
Protest becomes opportunity for advertising
As the rally was being carried out, Arora Nursing Home found an opportunity to advertise its services. The doctors called in a patient, who was admitted along with Jyoti, who favoured the doctors and accused the deceased of smoking. Another person came on mike and said his father's life was saved by the hospital, even as another senior citizen said the doctors saved him. IMA president and members of Punjab Medical Council and other office-bearers remained mute spectators to the scene, raising questions in minds of onlookers.