The Kozhikode branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has condemned the police charge against a junior doctor in a city hospital, who was attacked by a gang of youth accusing him of misbehaving with a woman patient recently.
B. Venugopalan, president, and K. Sandhya Kurup, secretary, IMA Kozhikode, told the media on Monday that the doctor had not misbehaved with the patient as being propagated. He was just examining her using a stethoscope and checking her condition. That too had happened in the presence of female nursing staff. The incident occurred on September 29 and he was attacked by a gang of youth the next day. A couple of hospital staff too were targeted. Three of the attackers, who are students of a private institution, were arrested subsequently based on complaints by the doctor and the IMA.
Dr. Venugopalan said that the police, however, had booked the doctor also under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with outraging the modesty of a woman. This, along with the attack, was demoralising for junior doctors, he pointed out.
V.G. Pradeep Kumar, former State president, IMA, said that 15 attacks against doctors had been reported from across the State this year. However, most of the culprits were not being booked under serious offences. This, he said, could lead to an impression that those manhandling health professionals would not face any problem. Referring to the attack on the doctor in Kozhikode, he alleged that the police had not included penal provisions related to unlawful assembly against the culprits.