During a casual conversation, my friend who is a doctor, once told me how patients' relatives get aggressive in the absence of proper treatment and abuse doctors on duty. This was 3-4 years ago.
These stories only increased ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the nation. Somewhere I believed that we would learn to respect the healthcare workers seeing the immense efforts they are putting amid the pandemic.
But there has been an alarming number of attacks on healthcare professionals across India, every day. The situation is so bad now that the IMA has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take urgent corrective actions at various levels to bring a halt to this heinous crime.
Here's looking at a few instances of attack and assault on healthcare workers in the recent past.
1. A doctor at a coronavirus facility in Assam was mercilessly assaulted by the relatives of a patient who had died, allegedly due to oxygen shortage.
The mob also attacked the hospital.While most medical officers managed to escape, this one doctor locked himself in a room. A video of the incident also went viral on social media.
24 people have been arrested in the case.
2. A 50-year-old doctor was assaulted by the kin of a child who died while being treated for dengue in Karnataka.
4 accused have been arrested in this case.
3. A doctor was attacked with bricks and shot with bullets by the brother of a COVID patient in Lucknow, who died during treatment.
The accused had appparently spent ₹6 lakh on his brother's treatment and was demanding the money back.
4. A doctor of a private hospital was attacked and threatened by friends of a COVID patient after the doctor denied them entry into the casualty ward.
5. Civic healthcare workers were attacked by villagers in Jharkhand on their visit to raise vaccine awareness.
Jharkhand | Civic healthcare workers, who had gone to Khunti's Torpa to raise vaccine awareness, were attacked by villagers y'day— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2021
"Action being taken against culprits. People fear & have misconceptions in rural areas about vaccine, trying to educate people," said circle officer pic.twitter.com/kOPOJxKzxc
6. A team of Punjab's health department was allegedly attacked by villagers when they went there to sensitise them about COVID-19 testing.
7. A medical officer in Patiala expressed the desire to discontinue his job after being assaulted by villagers during the cremation of a Covid victim.
8. Two doctors and two other healthcare workers of a government Covid-19 hospital in Ballia were injured after the family of a 65-year-old woman attacked them alleging delay in admission and oxygen supply.
9. Doctors, nurses and other staff at the Apollo hospital in Delhi were attacked by the family members of a COVID patient who died without getting an ICU bed.
10. Six healthcare workers who had gone to a Meerut locality to get a coronavirus positive patient admitted to hospital were allegedly attacked with stones and chased away by a crowd.
11. Two doctors in the emergency ward of Hindu Rao hospital in Delhi were injured after the kin of a patient became violent and attacked them.
12. A doctor was attacked by the relatives of a 3-year-old who died after not responding to the treatment.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of such incidents. These are just a few instances that were reported in the last few months. A growing number of medical professionals in India are facing abusive behaviour or violent attacks from patients’ relatives, every day.