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Rising violence against doctors highlights fault lines in Indian public healthcare

Doctors in Kolkata have now been protesting for over six days since the assault of Dr Paribaha Mukherjee who was grievously injured in a mob attack by family members of a 75-year-old patient who died, allegedly due to medical negligence, at the NRS hospital, Kolkata. This episode is among a spate of violent attacks on medical professionals that take place regularly in the country. On an average, India has 1 doctor per 1700 people. Some studies have shown that those providing emergency services are the ones who face most violence with close to 49% of such incidences being reported from ICUs or after a patient has undergone surgery. Responding to a call by the Indian Medical Association, a national strike by doctors is set to begin on Monday, June 17, 2019. However, doctors in West Bengal on Sunday softened their stance and have said they are ready for talks with the government & the Mamta Banerjee government has given the striking doctors a 3 pm appointment to break the impasse.

The Suno India Show reached out to senior doctor Sanjay Nagral to talk about the factors which lead to such violence. Sanjay Nagral has experience working in both public and private health sector and also is on the editorial board of Indian Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Dr Sanjay Nagral

Rising violence against doctors highlights fault lines in Indian public healthcare