Two attacks on government doctors within the space of a fortnight and both instigated by Muslim legislators supporting the ruling party.
Angered by the state government's pussyfooting on the issue of arresting the culprits involved, government doctors in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have decided to strike work Monday next.
AdvertisementThe strike would be total. Even emergency cases would not be attended to, the local chapter of the Indian Medical Association has announced.
Both the attacks took place in the state capital. In the first instance on Dec. 2, a member of the state legislative assembly, Afsar Khan, belonging to the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), assaulted some junior doctors at a children's hospital. The government was hesitant to take action against Khan or his associates. A statewide agitation broke out, children started dying in hospitals and the matter went all the way before junior doctors called off their strike.
But within 24 hrs thereafter, supporters of another MLA Ahmed Pasha Qadri, also of the IIM, went on a rampage a Government Maternity Hospital when a patient died there during treatment.
"The IMA is supporting junior doctors and this will be a joint action. They have opened our eyes on this issue and we will take this forward," Dr E Ravinder Reddy, IMA state president, said.
The association demanded the immediate promulgation of an ordinance which would render an assault on a doctor a non-bailable offence. It also demanded deployment of special police personnel at all teaching hospitals and immediate arrest of MIM MLAs Afsar Khan and Ahmed Pasha Quadri.
The members also said that the word 'medical negligence' should not be used by the media without the approval of the ethics committee or superintendent of the hospital.
"Politician enter hospitals and create trouble. I am not going to rescue somebody else's life which would put my life at stake," warned G.Raju, president, AP Junior Doctors Association (APJUDA) said.