April 15, 2009

No more night calls, say Goa doctors

Shaken by an attack on a colleague while on an emergency night visit to a patient’s house, doctors in Goa have decided that henceforth persons falling sick at night will have to go to the nearest hospital for medical attention.

At a meeting last week, the Goa unit of the Indian Medical Association informally decided not to visit residences of unknown patients. Doctors will now ask that the patient be shifted to a hospital where, if required and called for by the hospital, the doctors will go. Though not all doctors go out on night calls, this will effect the sick to some extent.

The decision comes after Dr Antonio Rodrigues was robbed of Rs 5,000 at knife point in Margao a month ago while on an emergency night visit to a patient’s residence.

Dr Gladstone D’Costa, president of IMA’s Goa chapter, said, “Our state unit had approached the police a while ago for security to doctors on night visits and we were promised the same, but when the time comes we are either told there are no vehicles or no fuel. We appear to be pretty low on the priority list, that’s why we have decided it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

A senior police officer, however, told TOI on Monday that he was unaware of any such request by doctors. “The request might have gone to some other department,” he said.

D’Costa also said that a Panaji doctor who attends frequent night calls had submitted a written letter seeking police protection some months back but has not been provided an escort till date.

Link: Original Article

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