The injured doctor, SN Roy, at his official residence in Supaul on Sunday.
Doctors at the Supaul district hospital have served the government with a 72-hour ultimatum to arrest those who attacked a hospital officer on Saturday night after the death of a patient.
At a meeting on Sunday, the Supaul chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA) decided that government doctors working in the Supaul district hospital will not provide services at the outdoor and indoor wings of the hospital during these 72 hours. They also demanded stern action against the accused within that timeframe. Emergency services, however, would not be disturbed, the association members have said.
S.N. Roy, the general medical officer at the Supaul district hospital, was assaulted on Saturday night. He suffered injuries to his head and neck after relatives of a patient, Rina Devi, died at the hospital.
Doctors deputed at other government facilities in the district have been asked to wear black badges on duty as a mark of protest.
The association's decision follows a series of incidents in which doctors have been assaulted by family members of patients, in as Kishanganj and Forbesganj, but no arrests have been made.
Kanhaiya Prasad Singh, a doctor at the Supaul district hospital and secretary of the Supaul chapter of BHSA, said: "From tomorrow (January 30) we will work from the civil surgeon's office, till those involved in the incident are nabbed and proper action is taken against them. A team of doctors will take care of the emergency wing, but patients in the indoor wing and coming to the outpatient department will suffer."
S.N. Roy, the officer assaulted, said: "Rina Devi had difficulty breathing and was continuously vomiting. She was also frothing at the mouth. The symptoms suggested she was poisoned, and the necessary treatment was provided to her but she could not survive beyond 15 minutes."
Roy claimed he suggested a post-mortem to be conducted, but around 15 of the patient's relatives resisted and beat him up in his chambers. The group then purportedly fled with the body. "The hospital's ambulance driver came to my rescue," he said. "The hospital guard also tried to help, but his lathi (baton) was snatched away and the attendants used it to beat me. The hospital does not have a single armed security guard."
Supaul superintendent of police Kumar Ekle said the police had started investigations and have conducted raids. "We have deployed armed forces on a permanent basis at the hospital," he said.
Health minister Tej Pratap said his department will take necessary action. "We are aware of the incident."