Doctors under siege: Resident doctors assaulted, abused by patient’s attendants in Hyderabad hospital

The attendants of the deceased patient assaulted the resident doctors of Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) on 11 May morning.

BySumit Jha

Published May 11, 2023 | 4:23 PMUpdated May 11, 2023 | 4:23 PM

Resident doctors of NIMS Hyderabad protesting after the assault by the deceased patient's attendants. (Supplied)

As India still reels from the news of a patient killing a duty doctor in Kerala, here is another incident of assault and abuse of two doctors in Hyderabad.

The attendants of a 62-year-old patient who passed away assaulted a resident doctor of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) on the morning of Thursday, 11 May, and also abused a lady doctor.

The resident doctors of the hospital alleged that a group of 10-12 attendants barged into the Acute Respiratory Care Unit (ARCU) and attempted to attack a female senior resident. When her senior intervened and tried to calm the group down and explain the situation, one of the attendants tried to strangle him.

The unruly attendants even stopped doctors from performing CPR on another patient.

Also Read: Flash strike by Kerala medical staff after killing of duty doctor

The patient’s condition

Speaking to South First, Dr Rahul R Nair, the doctor who was assaulted, said, “The patient was being treated somewhere else for the last four days. She was suffering from diabetes and hypertension, and had had coronary artery bypass surgery five years ago. She was admitted with a kidney issue and was on dialysis.”

He added that she had suffered a cardiac arrest during her stay in the previous hospital and was revived. She was later shifted to NIMS as an emergency case as the previous hospital was unable to manage her case.

She was admitted to NIMS’s Emergency Department at 8.30 pm on Wednesday and was given intravenous (IV) antibiotics and medicines to improve her blood pressure, the doctor said.

“She was critically ill and we informed the attendants of this when she was brought to the hospital. On Thursday morning, her situation deteriorated and she was put on ventilator. However, she succumbed due to emphysematous pyelonephritis and sepsis at 9:07 am,” narrated Dr Nair.

Also Read: Doctors leave cotton pad in woman during C-section; hide error

What led to the assault?

Dr Nair added that after she passed away, two attendants who were present with the patient began to create a scene. They started to break the doors and smash things around the ward.

“We called security but no one turned up and, suddenly, a group of the patient’s attendants arrived and started abusing the hospital staff in the ward,” he recalled.

He added that, at the same time, another patient was experiencing some issues that needed medical assistance.

“A female junior doctor went to attend to that patient and the attendants who were there started to abuse her, prevented her from working, and took a video of her without consent. When I went there and told them that they could not take videos, they tried to strangle me,” recalled Dr Nair.

He said that his colleagues managed to take him outside the ward. By then, security personnel arrived.

“Even after the arrival of security, the attendants did not let them into the ward and closed the door from inside. It was only after the police arrived that the attendants opened the door,” said Dr Nair.

Also Read: Doctor who attempted suicide over harassment dies in Hyderabad

RDA seeks justice

In a statement, the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of NIMS said that they work day and night to treat and save patients, yet they often are assaulted and harassed.

“We strongly condemn and stand against any form of violence or harassment of doctors. The Telangana government should take urgent and stringent action with strict punishment for the culprits. If the Telangana government cannot protect doctors in the future, all senior and junior doctors will go on a protest and will shut down hospitals,” said the RDA.

Meanwhile, speaking to South First, Punjagutta police station SHO C Harishchandra Reddy, said that he was aware about the incident. “We will do the further enquiry and take action after receiving a formal complaint from the doctors,” said Reddy.

Also Read: Why are junior doctors stressed and dying by suicide? 

IMA condemns attack

The Telangana unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) condemned the attack and sought stringent action against those involved.

In the statement, the IMA said that it stands in solidarity with medical doctors and all healthcare providers who put their life’s on the line every day to provide essential medical care to those in need.

“We request Telangana government to announce hospitals as protected zone and formulate necessary protocols to protect the doctors and health care professionals while treating the patients,” the statement said.

“Telangana government should take urgent and stringent action with strict punishment on the culprits,” it added.

The statement further said: “We reserve the right to oppose the violence in all healthcare establishments. We demand a special protection force as per G.O. Ms No 103 for the prevention of violence against doctors and healthcare personnel.”