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Week after Kolkata incident, Delhi hospital staff injured in scuffle with patient’s kin

The incident came after a nationwide medical crisis, which began on last week with a strike following the attack on three doctors at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital.

delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2019 07:18 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
New Delhi
Hospital,Violence in hospital,Doctor strike
The violence broke out a day after the culmination of a week-long protest across the country against assault on doctors and medical staff by angry relatives.(REUTERS photo)

A scuffle broke out at the emergency ward of a hospital in outer Delhi on Tuesday, causing injuries to guards at the facility in an incident that came a day after the culmination of a week-long protest across the country against assault on doctors and medical staff by angry relatives.

Relatives of a minor rape victim threw chairs and attacked guards at the national capital’s Maharshi Valmiki Hospital on Tuesday after doctors referred the six-year-old to another hospital for a medical test, saying they did not have the required facilities for the procedure.

“The girl was brought to the hospital around 6pm after which she underwent general examination for rape. However, protocol dictates that a deeper examination be conducted to check for internal injuries and bleeding. For a child, it can be very painful and hence needs to be done under general anaesthesia. Maharshi Valmiki, however, is a small hospital and we do not have the facility for general anaesthesia after 4pm, so the patient was referred to a higher centre,” said Dr Sameer Kakkar, who is a member of the resident doctors’ association at the hospital.

The incident came after a nationwide medical crisis, which began on last week with a strike following the attack on three doctors at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital. It was called off on Monday evening after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met doctors and agreed to demands for better working conditions, especially safety.

Detailing Tuesday’s incident of violence in Delhi, medical superintendent of Maharshi Valmiki Hospital Dr Rajiv Sagar said: “Once the situation went out of control, guards from across the hospital came to the casualty department to manage the crowd. In the scuffle, some of them did get minor injuries, but no one was hurt severely. The staff managed to run away from the situation.”

The Delhi Police said a formal complaint was not filed till late on Tuesday night. “The girl was brought to the hospital for a medical examination after the parents alleged in the afternoon that a man from the neighbourhood had raped her. The problem began after there was some miscommunication between the family of the survivor and the hospital guards,” said Gaurav Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (outer north district). He said a case of rape under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act was registered in the case.

Dr Sagar said a police complaint was likely to be lodged over the incident on Wednesday. “The relatives of the patient were there in the emergency department for nearly an hour, during which no hospital staff was able to enter the hospital. I have already informed higher authorities and the police were called in to manage the situation. An FIR will likely be registered tomorrow morning. For now, all emergency services at the hospital will have to be stopped.”

Medical services across India were paralysed for a week and protests spilled into the streets, including the national capital of New Delhi over the Kolkata incident. The protests began after at least three junior doctors were beaten up by family members of a patient who died at the state-run NRS Medical College.

First Published: Jun 18, 2019 23:38 IST