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Doctors Life In Danger
The threat of attacks on resident doctors from the relatives of patients has made the lives of many doctors very unsafe. Doctors are demanding life insurance, indemnity insurance and a need for these attacks to be made non-bailable offences
Even though resident doctors at major public hospitals are the targets of most attacks by furious relatives of patients, there is absolutely no insurance cover for them. The most recent attack took place at VN Desai Hospital at Santacruz (E), where relatives of the patient attacked two female resident doctors from the gynaecology ward. After the patient died during treatment at the hospital, the husband and other relatives severely assaulted the two resident doctors on duty. In the earlier attacks that took place at Somaiya Hospital, Vidyavihar and JJ Hospital, Byculla, it was again the resident doctors who were beaten up by the relatives.

Reacting to these incidents, Dr Shrikant Pandit, secretary, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (JJ Hospital), it is a fact that even though they have secretary, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (JJ Hospital), it is a fact that even though they have been at the receiving end of attacks, there is no insurance cover for them. "In fact, in the meeting that we had with Suresh Shetty, the state minister for medical education, we were told that there would be insurance for us," he said. The dean of JJ Hospital, Dr Pravin Shingare, admitted that there is no insurance cover for the resident doctors and added that the state government might have to issue the same. "It is also true that these young doctors are mostly the ones who face the attacks of relatives of patients, and we are planning to provide them with a detailed security cover," he said.

According to Dr Lalit Kapoor, spokesman for the association of medical consultants, there is indemnity insurance for their doctors, which gives them cover if there is any case filed against them by the relatives. "However, this still does not provide cover against such attacks, and there is a need to rethink this issue," he suggested. At the same time, various medical associations have also demanded that an attack on a doctor should be made a non-bailable offence, so that the culprit does not get away easily.
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Posted on : 8/11/2005
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