'I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm' -- this is not just a statement but an integral part of a doctor's hippocratic oath. A doctor takes a pledge to save a patient’s life -- irrespective of his caste, creed, colour, ethnicity and other characteristics.
In the past few years, however, these doctors, who are often considered demi-Gods, have been subjected to inhuman treatment and behaviour by irate patients.
The most recent example is of West Bengal's. Protests erupted on June 11 morning in Kolkata's state-run NRS Hospital bringing the regular services to a standstill, after a junior doctor was allegedly beaten up by the kin of a 75-year-old patient who died there late on June 10 night.
The family members of the deceased patient alleged medical negligence. An intern named Paribaha Mukherjee sustained a serious skull injury in the attack and was admitted in the intensive care unit of the Institute of Neurosciences in Kolkata's Park Circus area.
Doctors across the nation joined the stir. Protests were held in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur who demanded adequate protection for their counterparts in West Bengal.
Dr Pawan Gaba of the ESI Hospital, Delhi, echoed the sentiment and said fear was not conducive their working environment.
“We, the doctors, are not alien to this society. We are a part of it just like everybody else. People need to understand that fear is not conducive to our working environment in a hospital and we cannot work in constant fear of getting beaten up by patients or their attendants,” Dr Gaba said, in an exclusive conversation with India TV.
Dr Shreya, another employee of the ESI hospital, told India TV: “This is just one incident which has come to everyone’s attention but this kind of incidents is very common.”
“Every doctor will tell you multiple incidents where patients and their families have disrespected the doctors -- sometimes even mistreated them. We cannot change the thinking of this society but we want the government to enact laws that safeguard the rights of the doctors,” Dr Shreya added.
The doctors of the ESI Hospital also told India TV that the emergency wards were fully functional and that no patient in need of immediate treatment was being turned down.
The general secretary of the resident doctor’s association for the ESI Hospital, Dr Bharat, said, "The events which are unfolding in West Bengal are an indication of the condition of the doctors in our country. As resident doctors, we face this every day. We fear for our lives almost every single day we come to work. This is our appeal to the public, to the government that they should help us. We stand in solidarity with our West Bengal counterparts."
Watch | Doctors at ESI hospital speak exclusively to India Tv