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In the midst of the recent attack against the medical fraternity in West Bengal, NT KURIOCITY asked a few medical students and others about the necessary measures and precautions that should be taken to ensure the safety of medicos in Goa from similar mob attacks

It’s really disheartening to hear about the Bengal attack. It’s an inhumane act and I strongly condemn it. Our doctors don’t spend sleepless nights studying and treating patients just to get beaten up by some goons. To avoid these mob attacks I think education is the key. People should know that not everything is within the limits of the doctor. If the illness is serious, the patient might succumb. We can’t be blaming the doctor who has tried his or her best to treat that patient. And violence definitely is not the solution to any kind of problem. But knowing the kind of people Goans are, I have faith that they won’t go to such an extent of vandalism.

Tancia Pires, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

To stop violence against the medical fraternity, we need to find out the cause behind it, and come up with a solution accordingly. Educating the patient’s family members – that some patients will make it and some patients will not – is important. They should be made to understand that vandalism and violence in a hospital is a criminal offense and will be looked down upon. If indeed there is negligence on the part of the doctor, there are specified strict punishments that are laid down by the medical board.

Marushka Barbosa, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

Goa is no different from Bengal. If today the attack happened in Bengal than who knows it might happen with our fellow Goan doctors as well. In fact there have been such cases here but they went unnoticed several times. It is noticed that such brutalities are usually faced by the interns and the resident doctors who simply follow their protocol during night shifts. They are innocent. We need to understand that doctors are not magicians or wizards to cure patients ailments and also every patient is different from others so the way they respond to medication differs, therefore doctors can’t be held responsible every time. During mob attacks, the only thing that can be done is to run away from them because at that time reasonable discussions or fighting back against the mob physically won’t help. Secondly, some very stringent laws should be passed to safeguard medicos and those laws shall be made familiar to the general public just to let them know the drastic consequences.

Kishan Mangeshkar, Don Bosco College of Engineering, Fatorda

Doctors were called second God and saviour all this time. But over the last few years, doctors especially in government hospitals have been subjected to lot of physical and mental trauma, especially by the relatives of patients. At the recent incident that took place in Kolkata – I totally understand the feelings of the relatives during that phase. But physically assaulting doctors is not justified at all as doctors also are ultimately humans and work their level best within their maximum capacity to save the patient. Goa has been relatively free from violence like this for many years, but lately many cases like these are cropping up. To avoid this, we need the support of the government and the judiciary system. Strong laws against such acts, a good security force in government hospitals and CCTV cameras will help reduce this to a large extent.

Anika Parrikar, senior resident, department of pulmonary medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

The recent attack on an intern doctor by a mob is a very sad incident in medical history. Apparently, the boy is suffering from coordination and decrease in eyesight which has probably destroyed his future career for no fault of his. Such incidents can be prevented by upgrading the security of the hospital. The present security conditions at the hospital are dismal and in case of any untoward incident they just sit quiet and watch instead of intervening. Also, restricting the number of relatives to be allowed inside the hospital will prevent such incidents. And the people should realise that they can’t blame doctors for inadequate beds, support staff or lack of infrastructure. Doctors work day and night and even go sleepless for the sake of the patient. We are not your enemies. But we are not God either.

Ved Caculo, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

In my opinion, the problem of the medical fraternity in one state immediately determines that of the entire consortium, nationwide. There is no lack of laws to protect doctors, but what is concerning is their stringency. I would suggest security personnel being stationed in every ward and OPD, along with functional CCTV surveillance. There should also be a short course held for medical students on communication skills and dealing with bereaved family members.

Karen Paul Pereira, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

As an emerging doctor, to even think about such an incident is pathetic. I think in Goa the situation is not that insane and unpleasant compared to what happened in West Bengal. And that too in Goa we can see many police patrolling vans 24×7 on the road and obviously the cops won’t allow this to happen.  But still our hospitals need to be safe in all aspects towards doctors by engaging security agencies for ensuring safety of its employees. Also I think there should be a special helpline number directly from hospitals to the nearby police station for receiving emergency help.

Kaushik Bandolkar, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

The security for doctors should be increased. Security measures such as guards, CCTV cameras, emergency alarms, etc are very important to be put in these places. These measures should be part of comprehensive strategies and policies to deal with violence in the health sector and be accompanied with relevant training and response protocols. It is the responsibility of the hospital administration to implement a gate pass system or restricted patient entry. Senior doctors should be present at critical and sensitive times such as at the time of declaration of death or times of critical communication with patients and relatives.

Manasi Manoj Lotlekar, Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, Assagao

We belong to one fraternity be it West Bengal or Goa, so when we are unsafe in any region, the whole country becomes unsafe for us and Goa is not an exception. There is need for stringent laws to punish those who indulge in violence against doctors. Doctors in Goa need to be provided with some sort of security in their areas of work.

Ashton Dsouza, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

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