Case Filed On Crowd for Stopping Doctor Perform His Duty-IMA & AMC Condemn the Act

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Case Filed On Crowd for Stopping Doctor Perform His Duty-Indian Medical Association (IMA)-Mangaluru Chapter & Association of Medical Consultants (AMC)-Mangaluru Unit Condemn the Act

Mangaluru: Many healthcare workers, including Doctors, Nurses, among others have fallen ill with covid-19, and more are quarantined after being exposed to the virus while performing their duties taking care of the infected Covid-19 patients. They are all putting their lives at risk during this time of the pandemic and instead of appreciating their dedicated and risky work, there are a few people who abuse and even attack or confront them, for no reason at all or no fault of the doctors. The assault or confrontation on doctors at a time when they have been working tirelessly day and night to handle Covid cases is intolerable. Such ignorant persons who attack doctors should be severely dealt with by the law with stern punishments so that such kind of acts should stop.

The risk to the healthcare workers is one of the great vulnerabilities of the healthcare system in an epidemic like this, where most ERs and healthcare systems are running at full capacity. Due to the current pandemic, healthcare workers have experienced a disproportionate share of infections. They have been put at risk not only by the nature of their jobs but by shortages of protective equipment such as N95 face masks and government bungling of the testing program which was delayed for weeks while the virus spread around the country undetected. Therefore when these Covid Warriors are performing their duties to the best of their abilities, it is absolutely not right to abuse, confront or attack them.

Here is a recent incident which took place in the City, where a crowd of nearly 20 members had obstructed a doctor on duty thereby not allowing him to perform his emergency duties. It is learnt that Dr Jayaprakash K.P, a Physician and Intensivist after finishing his rounds checking on the patients at the hospital was about to leave the premises around 3:30 pm on 21 May 21, when a crowd of about 20 plus people led by Asif stopped him and started using filthy language against him, accusing him of treating a patient named Ms Jasmine at few other hospitals in the City before getting her admitted finally at the government Wenlock hospital. The crowd accused him of being unable to heal the patient and therefore demanded refund of treatment charges collected so far. It is said that the doctor was held by his collar, pushed around and was obstructed from performing his duties. In this regard a case has been filed at the Mangaluru Kadri East police station.

Condemning this act, Indian Medical Association (IMA) Mangaluru Chapter president, Dr Achut Kudva and also Association of Medical Consultants (AMC) president, K R Kamath, have demanded strict action against the accused, with severe punishments. President of Anti-Doctors Harassment Committee, Dr Ganesh Prasad Mudraje; Emergency Response Department’s Dr Prakash Harishchandra; IMA Secretary, Animesh Jain; AMC secretary Dr Prakash among others have also condemned the incident, urging the concerned authorities to take strict action against the accused. In the meantime, Dr Jayaprakash has written a letter to the President of AMC, which is incorporated below:


Dr Jayaprakash MBBS MD DM, Consultant Intensivist, Mangalore


The President AMC Mangaluru

Respected Sir,

Subject: Assault by a patient’s attender in Athena Hospital premises on 21-05-2021

Like any hardworking socially responsible Intensivist, in COVID times my day starts at 8-9 am morning and ends at 3 am late night (morning), handling more than 55 critical cases in more than six hospitals in Mangaluru. The day and nights are interrupted by hundreds of calls from hospitals, patients, their relatives, and the public, all of which are personally answered by me with full compassion and patience. However, being a workaholic, I enjoyed serving society when I was needed the most. At 7:10 pm on 20th May, I received a call from an unknown number when I was attending an emergency at Surathkal. The Good Samaritan on the phone informed me that Mrs Jasmine, an eight-month pregnant woman is COVID positive and is struggling to breathe and is not getting ICU bed since morning despite visiting many hospitals. I am generally a bit hesitant to take critically ill pregnant patients due to the harassment and enquiries associated with maternal mortality from families and the government. However, in this case, I did not have any second thought and readily agreed to take the case and asked them to come to Athena hospital emergency for initial stabilisation and planning.

When they arrived there, I came to know that the hospital doesn’t have a caesarean facility for COVID patients. Meanwhile, I convinced Dr Latha Sharma, a senior gynaecologist and Dr Ganapathi, a senior anesthesiologist and intensivist to be involved in the case. I then booked an operation theatre and ventilator in Mangala Hospital. Rushed back to Mangala Hospital from Surathkal at full speed. Asked them to come to Mangala Hospital. Apparently, when they came, it was an ambulance followed by several vehicles filled with the people from which it appears they were obviously violating COVID appropriate behaviour and lockdown rules. As they were reaching the casualty at Mangala hospital, a few of them dashed in and shouted for a doctor to attend – the tone and demeanour of them were highly inappropriate.

As soon as I reached the casualty, I examined the patient. She was conscious. BP was stable. Heart rate was 130. Respiratory work was high, and the breathing rate was more than 35. Saturation was 92% with a 15L oxygen supplement. Bilateral extensive crackles on auscultation. She was inching towards respiratory failure. Quickly I did a few relevant investigations and advised appropriate arrangements to shift to a bed with a ventilator after discussing with Dr Ganapathi and Dr Latha Sharma over the phone, who had full confidence with my plan for treatment and stabilisation of the patient. Meanwhile, I called the Father of the patient and a few of his friends accompanied us for discussion. I explained to them the grave situation in which the patient is in and the threat posed by the disease to her life, which includes the baby which may or may not have attained lung maturity.

As per Dr Latha Sharma’s advice, a betamethasone injection was given. Antibiotics, heparin, vitamins, remdesivir, steroids and other supportive measures were prescribed by me. The patient was shifted to a 4th-floor bed under my supervision and monitored. Meanwhile, a man who calls himself Asif called me from his mobile phone at 10 pm and asked me whether I can save the life, or he will arrange another ICU and doctor to treat her. I explained to him that the situation is critical and there is no guarantee of survival. But a genuine effort will be made to help her in critical illness. Meanwhile, I get her lab report. CRP was more than 200, chest x-ray shows bilateral widespread opacity, Neutrophilic predominance with leukocytosis, liver enzymes elevated. Was really worried about the mother and child who were in grave danger.

A mob of nearly 30 people including Asif were in the hospital corridor and outside. Each one has his own judgements about the patient’s condition and my ability to handle the case. One of them came to me and asked, “Is she alright?”. I prayed to God for the safety of the patient. A consensus was generated in the mob to shift her to another hospital. Again, someone in the crowd asked, “When Dr Latha Sharma will come?”. I told them when I deem the case fit for termination of pregnancy. They did not understand that I was buying time so that child also will have the best chance of survival post betamethasone. The same Asif comes forward and says he wanted to shift the case to another hospital. Luckily with coordinated efforts of the Mangala Clinical Team, we got an ICU bed in Wenlock Hospital

I discussed this with the DHO and the Medical Superintendent of Wenlock hospital and we decided to transfer the case to Lady Goshen for further treatment. The Hospital Receptionist handed over the bill. I told her to waive my professional charges. The family was convinced about the bill and payment done through Card. We arranged a ventilator ambulance from Mangala Hospital. Dr Anupama and I accompanied the patient in the ambulance and handed over the details and patient at labour OT and wished her good recovery and came. I felt that I did a good job, and my conscience was fully satisfied. Later, my friend in Wenlock hospital told me that they did LSCS immediately and delivered a healthy baby girl and the mother was doing well. I felt my effort was worth it. Felt happy. The next day, I go to consult patients admitted under me in various hospitals.

I visited Athena Hospital and made some clinical decisions to help a few patients under my treatment. The same Asif spotted me there and approached me. He asked me why Jasmin was admitted to Mangala hospital if I was not able to handle it. Someone else asked why I explained the possible demise of a patient yesterday. Asif claimed that both child and mother are healthy and safe. He asked me to come down to settle some issues. I finished my clinical rounds and started walking towards my car. Asif and some people known to him came in my way and started to abuse me. They asked me to repay the bills paid to Mangala. Asif told me that he wanted to teach me a lesson. Someone among them allegedly called the press. One of them recorded my ordeal on their mobile.

When I tried to avoid them and walked towards my car, a person known to Asif pushed me to the wall and snatched my mobile. I wanted to call the Police which they prevented. Abuses after abuse. I was stunned and did not register anything. I pleaded with them to leave me. In vain the ordeal continued. By that time Dr Muralidhar Yediyal came. The whole mob surrounded him and started abusing him. I did not know what was happening and Why these people were after him. Someone shouted “Where is Priya Ballal? We have to teach her a lesson.” Sister Sowbhagya called my mobile. The man returned the phone to me. She asked me to attend one emergency in Athena Casualty. The mob let me go back to the hospital. I told her to call the police.

Briefly explained what was happening inside Athena hospital compound. Went on to hide in the minor OT fearing that the mob may come to casualty searching for me. Called Ashith Shettian many times. Could not contact. Called Dr Ganapathi from there and briefly explained whatever happened and asked him to call the police. Once the police came, instead of supporting “a corona warrior” he took the side of an unruly mob and cornered Dr Muralidhar. I escaped the irrational mob and sped away in my car fearing my life. The mob was busy engaging with Muralidhar and the police. I thanked GOD, Sister Sowbhagya and Dr Ganapathi for saving me. After a few hours, Athena Hospital MD called and apologised for the assault that occurred in Athena Hospital premises in Infront of my patients’ relatives and the public.

I am unable to figure out–

1. What was my mistake?
2. Why was I physically and mentally assaulted?
3. Why was my mobile snatched and prevented from calling the Police?
4. Why were the Police passing judgements on Muralidhar and siding with the mob?
5. What was the lesson that the mob wanted me to learn?

I am profoundly hurt. I would think many times before helping the needy. There is no security for medical professionals for their selfless service. Police are there to serve their self-interest. Medicine is a thankless profession. Administration and Police are baying for doctors’ blood in the name of helping the public. There are many more negative thoughts making rounds in my mind. Am I inching towards depression? Will I take my life? What will be the effect of the incident on my mental wellbeing? Will it change my attitude towards patients? More than anything “is it necessary to feed the people who bite the hands that feed them.”

Sir something is not right. It may be inside me or outside me. Kindly help.

Dr Jayaprakash K.P MBBS MD DM Physician and Intensivist
Place – Mangalore Date – 22nd May 2021

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1 Comment

  1. As a journalist, why do you not give us readers full information as this situation can happen to anyone.

    Today they have guts to attack doctors, tomorrow any common man can be silenced by 20 mercinaries, Unless their identity (Mr Asif..His full name, residence, his photograph ) is revealed to the public

    You have conveniently also deleted which police officers came, from Pandeshwar.

    Identities of the other eminent doctors Dr Yediyal & Dr Ballal are only mentioned. Such behaviours should be made public and condemned.

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