Relatives of a patient allegedly assaulted a doctor on duty in the emergency section of the state general hospital at Birpara in Alipurduar district on Thursday night.
Doctors, paramedics and other staff of the hospital refused to join duties at the outpatient departments (OPDs) on Friday in protest against the assault. They also held a march and demanded a police camp on the hospital premises.
Sources said a patient, who had suffered injuries in a road accident, had been brought to the emergency section around 9.45pm on Thursday. Amalesh Panda was the doctor on duty and was supposed to examine the injured. Alleging that there was delay on his part in attending to the patient, the relatives attacked Panda.
Others present at the hospital rushed to the emergency and rescued the doctor. They also brought the situation under control. As other doctors and paramedics learnt about the incident, they got agitated and decided to stop all kinds of healthcare services.
The state general hospital serves hundreds of patients and is considered as one of the three prominent state-run health establishments in the Alipurduar district. The other two are the district hospital in Alipurduar and the multi-specialty hospital in Falakata.
“The doctor was beaten up without any reason. It cannot be tolerated. The allegation of delay is baseless. All those associated with healthcare are providing their best efforts in the current Covid-19 situation. The administration and police must see such incidents do not recur,” said Debarshi Sengupta, the superintendent in-charge of the hospital.
On Friday, the doctors however, decided that they would provide services in wards and emergencies but would not attend the OPDs. As a result, a number of patients who had gone to the OPDs with different ailments had to return without treatment.
Panda, the doctor who had faced the attack, has filed a police complaint, said sources.
“We are investigating the case. Our men are in search of the attackers. In due course, we will also discuss the issue of setting up a police camp at the hospital,” said Amitava Maity, the superintendent of police, Alipurduar.
On Friday morning, the doctors and the staff held a silent rally in Birpara. They also walked up to the police station and handed over the CCTV footage of the incident to officers, the sources said.
“We want to make it clear that unless a police camp is set up at the hospital, we will not attend OPDs,” said a doctor.