As assault reports rise, Nepal Medical Council urges doctors to practice as per protocolAccording to the Nepal Medical Association, around a dozen such incidents take place throughout the country every month.
A medical intern serving at the teaching hospital of Chitwan Medical College was severely thrashed some six weeks ago by a mob gathered at the hospital following the death of a patient.
The mob alleged that sheer negligence from the part of doctors was responsible for the death of the patient, who had undergone sinus surgery. Following the mob picketing the hospital, health services were hampered for two days.
In another incident two months ago, a professor, Bhola Raj Joshi, was manhandled following the death of a patient at Om Hospital and Research Center. Relatives of the deceased alleged that negligence from the doctor was the sole cause for the death. "Doctors are not gods nor are we killers,” Joshi told the Post. "We tried our best, but we could not succeed."
Similarly, a few months ago, a man pretending to be a journalist arranged time to meet with Professor Jagdish Prasad Agrawal, dean of the Institute of Medicine at his office. Because he claimed to be a journalist, the man easily got entry into the dean's office and upon entering the office, threw black ink on Dr Agrawal and fled the scene.
Aforementioned are just representative cases of assaults, manhandling and violence against doctors and health care facilities. According to the Nepal Medical Association, an umbrella organisation of medical doctors, every month about a dozen such incidents take place throughout the country, and such incidents are on the rise.
In just the last eight months, the Association has issued dozens of press releases condemning incidents of violence against doctors involved in the treatment and health facilities.
As the frequency of such incidents rises, the Nepal Medical Council has cautioned doctors to fulfil all minimum standards for the safety of patients during treatment. The national regulatory body of medical doctors has also urged doctors to use surgical checklist mandatorily and practice as per the established scientific protocols.
Likewise, the council has also appealed to the general public in an effort to ensure such incidents are not repeated in the future. "We would like to request all to not resort to violence and seek legal remedy," reads the press statement issued by the Council. "One can also file a case at the council if he/she has a serious complaint over the treatment."
Meanwhile, Dr Lochan Karki, general secretary of the association, has asked the government to ensure the safety of doctors and health facilities. "We have been drawing the attention of the government time and again to the growing number of violence cases but to no avail," said Karki. "Had the government maintained law and order, such incidents would not have repeated."