Protests erupt across Kerala after patient’s kin attack doc

While no one has been arrested yet, Kerala police said the case has been registered under Section 353 (preventing an official from carrying out his duty) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the state’s Covid pandemic control act among others.
According to the police, the incident took place at the government taluk hospital at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district on Thursday night. (Representational picture)
According to the police, the incident took place at the government taluk hospital at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district on Thursday night. (Representational picture)
Published on Oct 16, 2021 12:10 AM IST
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By, Thiruvananthapuram

A doctor working with a government taluk hospital in Kerala’s Kollam district was allegedly attacked by a group of people, who claimed that he came late to confirm the death of a patient, police said on Friday. After the incident, government doctors in many parts of the state boycotted the out-patient wing to register their protest.

According to the police, the incident took place at the government taluk hospital at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district on Thursday night. In his complaint, the injured doctor, L Ganesh, said a group of people came to the hospital late on Thursday night with a woman who fell into a well. As he was busy with another patient, he reportedly asked them to get the woman’s ECG done to confirm the death. Infuriated with the doctor’s response, the group that came in an ambulance allegedly attacked the doctor, police said, adding that the doctor is admitted in the hospital with minor injuries.

Police said they have registered a case under non-bailable provisions against Sooranad panchayat president K Sreekumar and others in connection with the attack. While no one has been arrested yet, police said the case has been registered under Section 353 (preventing an official from carrying out his duty) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the state pandemic control act among others.

Later in the day, the panchayat chief also got admitted in the hospital alleging he was manhandled by the doctor and hospital staff. Soon after the incident came to light, the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association on Friday called for a protest, saying they would boycott the out-patient wards till the arrest of the accused. Kerala health minister Veena George on Friday spoke with the injured doctor and promised strict action against the accused.

At least 10 such cases have been reported in recent months in Kerala, prompting the state government to issue an order demanding immediate arrest of those who attack overworked doctors and nurses. Last month, the Kerala high court also directed the government to take strong action against those who turn against health workers. The court observed that unless health workers, doctors and nurses were not allowed to function peacefully, “it will be impossible to contain the deleterious consequences of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022