Violence against doctors has always been a norm in India. Sadly, this recent incident is no different.
A patient stabbed a resident doctor with a knife at Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Hospital in Yavatmal city of Maharashtra on January 5. Another resident doctor got injured as well while trying to rescue his colleague.
According to reports, first-year resident Dr. Jebastine Paul Adwin and other doctors were on their evening rounds when the assault happened. The patient severely injured him by stabbing him in the face. Dr. Adwin had to undergo immediate surgery. The other resident doctor suffered an injury on his finger.
According to reports, the patient Suraj Thakur is mentally unstable and was admitted because he stabbed himself two days back. The patient was reportedly holding the knife used for cutting fruits. He denied the resident doctors to examine his injured stomach. When the doctors returned to examine him, he attacked the residents. An FIR was lodged, and the patient has been arrested.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) declared a strike. The doctors reached out to Deputy CM and Home Minister Mr. Devendra Fadnavis.
The residents of the hospital protested against the attack by stopping all emergency and non-emergency services. They have requested the state government to increase security in government hospitals.
This was not the first incident of violence against doctors in that hospital. Earlier, an MBBS student was also attacked with a knife.
India still does not have a national law specific to violence against healthcare professionals. The health ministry invoked the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897 during the pandemic. A small amendment in the act called for a fine of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakh and imprisonment for 3 months to 5 years.
However, once the Act is revoked, India will no longer have a national law for violence against healthcare workers.
(Input from various media sources)