Manipur: Assault on Resident Doctor in RIMS raises safety concern for medical staff

A recent assault on a resident doctor in RIMS, Imphal raises urgent concerns about medical staff safety and calls for action
Indefinite sit-in continues in protest at RIMS, Imphal
Indefinite sit-in continues in protest at RIMS, ImphalAIMSA

The recent assault on a resident doctor at the Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Imphal, Manipur, on Monday, July 1, is yet again a hostile act in the series of attacks on doctors in the country that raises serious concerns about the safety and security of doctors and medical staff.

According to the information obtained from a letter from the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) sent to the Medical Superintendent of RIMS, Imphal, a resident doctor was physically assaulted by the attendant (husband) of a patient.

“This unacceptable act of violence has not only caused physical and emotional harm to our colleague but also raises serious concerns about the safety and security of our medical staff”, the letter mentioned.

The incident allegedly occurred in the evening at around 6.30 pm in the Septic ward. The junior doctor from the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Department was tending to the patient when the incident happened, stated another letter by doctors sent to the Medical Superintendent.

The students have started an indefinite strike and called for the closure of all non-emergency services until their demands are met. The demands include immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator(s), prompt increment in the number of security personnel, public awareness of legal implications against assaults/bullies of doctors and presence of security personnel on the spot 24/7.

The All India Medical Student’s Association (AIMSA) also took to X (formerly Twitter) and condemned the act on July 2. “The AIMSA strongly condemns the act of assault on Resident Doctors from RIMS, Imphal (Manipur). We request to take strict action against the culprits,” the association mentioned sharing a few visuals from the protest scene. 

Recently, on June 27, a similar incident took place at Raiganj Medical College in West Bengal where a few house staff members and interns were allegedly assaulted by political goons, as informed by AIMSA. Allegedly, around seven to eight house staff members and interns were injured in the attack.

Speaking on the issue with EdexLive, Dr Dhruv Chauhan, National Council Coordinator for the Indian Medical Association - Junior Doctors Network (IMA-JDN), said, “We have been demanding the strict implementation of the Central Protection Act to ensure the prevention of violence against healthcare professionals but it is negligent. Every now and then someone assaults a doctor and gets bail the next day.”

“The doctors don’t like to work in such a dangerous environment but they’re doing it because of circumstances. That is why most Indian medical professionals plan to move abroad,” he added.

Furthermore, he complained that the doctors are made to work 48-72 hours without breaks. As a consequence, this is destroying their mental and physical health due to lack of sleep. This, in turn, compromises the patient's health. He demanded strict laws and fixed duty hours. 

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