The number of doctors being threatened and attacked by relatives and friends of patients or the patients themselves has been rising alarmingly and urgent action is needed to address this issue to safeguard them.
Doctors today find the workplace unsafe and vulnerable to the persistent rise of threats and violence and have to be given special protection while performing their duty, or even after work.
“There is not a single day when I do not get threatened for being assumed as ‘biased’, ‘inhumane’ or ‘not doing my duty’,” says a city-based ENT specialist on request of anonymity.
“Inappropriate comments, verbal abuses, trying to be physical to even death threats, these have now become a common occurrence in most of the hospitals.
“There is no discrimination when it comes to abusing or violence. Male or female, every doctor is given the same treatment.
“Working in the healthcare sector today is the most challenging, given the rise in mistrust and people thinking that experts just rip them off and treat the entire setup as money making machine.
It is very difficult to understand for people that efficient, advanced, fruitful medical services do involve a little bit of spending, which do not go into the doctor’s pockets.
“Technology is advancing with every passing day and there is something new coming up in the industry that needs to be adopted. New advancements, however, doesn’t only involve coming up with expensive treatments, there are researches done on finding alternatives to the medicine that isn’t accessible to common man, provided people want to go with that or not.
“They make the choice, we never force them to undergo any kind of treatment unless it is the last resort,” he adds.
“It happens almost every week. However, corporate hospitals do provide security round-the-clock,” shares Dr Roshan Palresha, Head – Emergency Medicine.
“But they are also handicapped as they are not allowed to touch anyone. Moreover, they are also alone as the threat is usually in the form of a mob or a group.”
“The problem is, people expect magic and we are no magicians.
“We just do what we can do best. Also, there are certain people who want immediate attention in spite of a non-emergency case and we can’t do that because for us ‘triage’ is important and accordingly, we treat emergencies first.
“But, people don’t understand that in spite of telling them. Often the group of people come with some or the other reference in the form of political contacts or some higher influence.
The acquaintance of the patient also often assume that the hospital is ripping off their money, which is also a reason of their ill-behaviour. Which is not under our control.
“We too work on salary basis. It is the hospital prices which are fixed. There are many who want immediate treatment and after we do whatever necessary, when it comes to payment, they don’t want to pay it and keep arguing with us.
“There is nothing much we can do. The most we do is request for a discount from the billings department, but only in genuine cases who really can’t afford, but I can’t help much as it is up to the hospital management to decide. But still, we are threatened and abused,” quips Dr Roshan.
Dr Neha Wankar, Emergency Medicine Resident was, however, lucky enough to have not encountered any threats. “But yes, many of my colleagues specially male colleagues, have encountered threats and violence too. Hence, we have guards at night on duty.”
#All views expressed are those of the individual respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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