Doctors at the Hindu Rao Hospital in New Delhi went on strike on Sunday, after relatives of a patient attacked two of their colleagues the previous day. The patient, Rajbala, who had kidney failure, died during treatment, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Nupur Prasad said, according to The Hindu.
Soon after her death on Saturday night, Rajbala’s attendants, as well as her husband and son, began quarelling with the doctors. Her son allegedly slapped a doctor and got into a scuffle with other hospital employees. Two doctors – Rajesh Kumar and Pranay – suffered minor injuries.
“An FIR has been registered under IPC Sections 353 [assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty], 332 [voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty] and sections of the Delhi Medicare Service Personnel and Medicare Service Institutions [Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property] Act, 2008,” Prasad said.
Rajbala’s relatives claimed she died due to medical negligence. Prasad said the body has been sent for an autopsy, which will determine if the patient died due to negligence.
Following the assault, resident doctors at the hospital went on strike on Sunday, The Indian Express reported. They have also threatened to continue the strike on Monday.
“The patient…was gasping for breath and had very poor vitals,” Dr Piyush Singh, acting president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at the hospital said. “She had been recommended dialysis thrice a week but had not been following directions. The attending doctor explained her condition to the attendants. She was declared dead soon. The attendants became violent when the doctor was signing the death certificate and the attending doctor was beaten up. He received cuts on his head.”
“We will be on strike today,” Singh added. “Emergency services will be available.”
“As long as this happens we won’t do any work,” Dr Abhishek Bhatia told ANI on Monday. “Only emergency services, and nothing else, will be operational. A doctor was thrashed and injured here last night. Patient wasn’t in a good condition, everything was explained. Even then 10-15 people came and thrashed the doctor.”
Doctors in West Bengal had gone on strike in June after a mob attacked two interns following the death of a patient at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. The doctors called off their strike a week later, following talks with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.