Mumbai: Doctors in de-stress huddle

Mumbai: Taking the dictum, ‘Physician, heal thyself’, to heart, on Wednesday morning, several resident doctors of the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (LTMG) hospital, Sion, were seen lined up for obtaining OPD slips for availing psychiatric counselling.

This happened a day after a resident doctor was manhandled by the relatives of a deceased patient on Monday (August 12). Rattled by the incident, many resident doctors were trying to shake off the anxiety and tension.

To help dispel the stress, doctors from the Sion wing of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors decided that every resident doctor ought to undergo counselling.

Senior doctors said a 70-year-old woman was brought in for treatment on Monday, but her condition deteriorated and she passed away on the same day.

Her relatives blamed the resident doctor and alleged medical negligence. Within no time, around 25 members from the family of the deceased rushed into the hospital and attacked the doctor.

“The crowd pushed the resident doctor and assaulted him. After the incident, the doctors wanted to file a complaint, but the police dissuaded them. The hospital authorities too were unable to help,” said a doctor.

Dr Prashant Choudhary, MARD chief, Sion Hospital, said since then, an environment of fear had enveloped the premises and doctors found themselves unable to work to the best of their abilities.

“We decided that the doctors should undergo counselling. They cannot continue to work in such an environment, as they are likely to slip into depression and their mental health could worsen,” he added.

Further, he said, the government claims to have provided security, but the ground reality is entirely different. Attacks on doctors are increasing daily and the government is unable to do anything.

“We decided to be pro-active and decided counselling would help ease the doctors' minds. They were being counselled at OPD 21, the hospital's psychiatric OPD,” said Dr Chaudhary.

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