Assault on doctorsCreated by:
I am unsure if the international healthcare community is aware about this unique problem in the Indian society. I agree that in the fast life of today, stress levels are very high and tolerance levels are low. There is always a need to prove your superiority over your fellow men. People may resort to astonishing measures to do this.
It has happened at government hospitals and also at private clinics or hospitals. Patients may belong to any socio-economic status, but they often tend to neglect their symptoms and come to consult a doctor when things have really gone very bad. Another scenario is when there is rapid progression of disease and fast deterioration of the patient's general condition. Sometimes it may be a bad road -traffic accident.
When a patient succumbs to a lethal illness, an unfortunate accident or a neglected condition, patient's relatives get rowdy and manhandle the treating doctor and cause destruction of the premises. Multiple such events have occurred in the past six months in different places in order India. At times it has happened that the relatives were co-operative, but some other persons have entered the scenario to extract some political mileage out of it. A small number of doctors have even lost their lives in such circumstances.
The government had to make a rule giving strict punishment, fine and imprisonment for such assaulterst, but the number of such incidents has not decreased. The treating doctor is afraid to treat such critical patients because he often considers the dire consequences which may occur in the unfortunate event that the patient succumbs. Doctors have also petitioned the government to allow them to bear firearms at their disposal to be ready to counter such mischief-mongers.
Has anyone encountered a similar predicament in other countries? If so, how was it tackled?