Doctor alleges manhandling at Srinagar’s hospital; patient says “asked to unlock toilet”

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On Monday, attendants of a female patient at Srinagar’s Chest and Disease hospital alleged that she was abused — “physically and verbally” — by a female doctor after the patient had approached the hospital’s management with issues in a washroom. However, the Registered Medical Officer (RMO) in turn alleged that the patient, who was also diagnosed with COVID-19, manhandled her.

The family of the patient told The Kashmir Walla that “[the] patient asked her to unlock another toilet because the urinals in the emergency ward of CD hospital were overflowing and there was no electricity in the bathroom”. The family further lamented that “if the poor sanitation conditions in government hospitals were not enough to harass the already traumatised patients” and alleged that the doctors prefer to keep the available functional toilet units locked.

Dr. Nighat, the RMO, told a local news agency, Global News Service (GNS) that after the patient approached her “regarding some issue with [the] electric bulb in the washroom and asked for the keys of doctors’ washroom”, she asked the patient to “wait till the issue is resolved and was about to take the roaster to contact the electrician concerned”. 

“In the meantime a person, which I at first impression thought to be attendant of the patient, approached and took me by my neck and dragged me even as hurled abuses,” the medical officer told the agency, adding that “all this can be even cross-checked from the CCTV footage available with the hospital administration.”

The RMO further stated that the hospital administration informed the police and “the attendant accosting the patient was taken into detention by a police team”.

The family, narrating a different experience of the incident, told The Kashmir Walla: “If anyone dares request them, even in [an] extreme emergency, the bloated egos resort to abusing – verbally and physically. And to top it all, to hide one’s folly, strike work.”

Asking the administration to look into the matter and the condition of the hospitals — “overflowing urinals, defecation everywhere, choked lines” — the family also appealed to the health workers to “realise that they should serve with humility, not with arrogance”.

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