The Indian Medical Association (IMA) reiterating its zero-tolerance against any sorts of violence on doctors has given a 24-hour ultimatum to the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Assam government to issue a written assurance on providing security to the doctors working in the state.
Vehemently condemning the dastardly attack on Dr Deben Dutta by an irate mob at the Teok Tea estate on August 31st, 2019, the doctor’s association on September 4th, 2019 threatened to go on a state-wide agitation for an indefinite time if the Assam government fails to take an immediate call to prevent violence against the doctors.
A central team of the IMA led by national president Dr Shantanu Sen on September 4th, 2019 visited late Dr Dutta’s residence in Teok.
“Doctors are human beings too. It is only the doctors who take the Hippocratic oath that even at the cost of their lives, they will try to save the life of the patient. Unfortunately, time and again the doctors are getting assaulted or murdered by the family members of the patient,” said Dr Sen.
The team informed that it has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah demanding formulation of a strong Act on violence against doctors. A memorandum has also been submitted to Sonowal.
It may be mentioned that seventy-three-year-old Dr Dutta was brutally assaulted by the relatives of a tea garden worker who died while undergoing treatment at a hospital at Teok Tea Estate on August 31st, 2019. Dr Dutta later succumbed to his injuries. He was working in the tea garden hospital after his retirement without remuneration.
Dr Hemanga Baishya, State Secretary IMA (Assam Branch), said, “Such incidents will keep on repeating if the Assam government fails to take stern action. This is the third incident in a row in Assam. The criminals should not be granted bail. Sensitization and awareness programmes are the need of the hour.”
In the wake of the incident, five doctors in the tea estates in Upper Assam have resigned from the job. The doctors in Assam observed a 24-hour “withdrawal of non-emergency medical services” across the state on September 3rd, 2019 to protest against the assault on Dr Dutta that led to his death. Wearing black badges, the doctors also took out a procession demanding justice for the slain doctor and security for medicos.
With inputs from Jyotish Pawan Bordoloi
Photo: Jyotish Pawan Bordoloi