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Protect us, urge doctors at JJ Hospital in Mumbai

Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) reiterates that the government should install alarm system, deploy more guards at hospitals

mumbai Updated: May 20, 2018 00:18 IST
Sadaguru Pandit 
Sadaguru Pandit 
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,doctor,resident doctor
Resident doctors at JJ Hospital during their strike in Mumbai on Saturday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Over 400 resident doctors of JJ Hospital started an indefinite strike on Saturday after the assault on two doctors and a nurse by relatives of a patient. The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has demanded immediate installation of alarm system and security guards at every ward to ensure such an incident does not take place again.

“The resident doctors are in a state of panic and afraid to work under such conditions, we cannot resume duty unless appropriate security measures, which are due for over two years, are implemented immediately,” said Dr Sarang Donarkar, president, MARD.

Dr Atish Parikh and Dr Shefali Dharmadhikari, the on-duty medicos of female general surgery ward 11, were assaulted by four relatives of a female patient who died before her surgery on Saturday. The attackers also assaulted the relative of one of the patients who tried to intervene and another nurse.

“Dr Parikh’s jaw is fractured and Dr Shefali is in a state of psychological shock after the relatives grabbed her by the throat. The doctors were merely doing their duty and explaining the patient’s condition to the relatives,” said Dr Donarkar.

MARD has alleged that security at JJ Hospital has been cut to half since their appointment and promises to install an alarm system to alert the security personnel is yet to come true, increasing the risk of similar attacks. “We want at least one or two security persons for every ward and the alarm system should be installed immediately. All we have been getting is assurances and nothing is done on paper,” said a MARD member.

A senior doctor from the hospital said that after the resident doctors’ strike in 2017, over 180 guards have been manning the premises of JJ Hospital, covering all the entry and exit points of the building, elevators and six major wards. However, he said it is impossible to deploy guards at all the 44 wards. “The security is beefed up at CCU, ICU, MICU, labor and casualty wards, which handle higher rate of emergencies. But it’s impossible that all the 44 wards get security persons,” said the doctor, requesting anonymity.

Dr S Nandankar, dean, JJ Hospital, said they have initiated an inquiry into the incident to review the security measures at the hospital. “The assaulters also destroyed hospital property and were immediately nabbed by police personnel. We will take necessary measures to ensure such incidents are not repeated,” said Dr Nandankar.

First Published: May 20, 2018 00:18 IST