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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the rising number of cases of attack on doctors at various hospitals, the Health secretary today requsted the Home department to set up police outposts at health centres across the State to provide 24-hour security to doctors and other support staff.

In a letter to Home secretary Asit Tripathy, Health secretary Arti Ahuja said repeated attacks on doctors have led to a feeling of insecurity among medical staff. "As the incidents of manhandling of doctors are growing, it is requested that police outposts be opened in all tertiary care institutions, district headquarters hospitals and sub-divisional hospitals in the State,” Ahuja said in her letter.

Making a case for tight security to be provided to doctors, Ahuja said the police should be asked to include the provisions of Medicare Act 10 of 2009 in the FIR. "The importance of Medicare Act 10 of 2009 promulgated to curb violence against medicare providers in government hospitals may also be emphasised and police stations be requested to include its provisions in the FIR," she said.

The Health secretary also asked her counterpart in the Home department to instruct police personnel to press the most stringent sections of law in the FIR in such cases. "FIRs must be lodged in all such cases by including the most stringent sections of law and proper follow up must be done by the investigating agency to ensure that the cases against assaulters reach their logical end," the letter read.

The move of the Health department came after doctors at the Puri district headquarters hospital were up in arms after being assaulted by the relatives of a patient who accused them of medical negligence leading to his death on Wednesday night. The relatives of the patient had also ransacked the hospital premises.

On Thursday morning, the doctors had resorted to cease work citing the failure of the district administration to provide security to them. They alleged that incidents of ransacking and attack on medicos at the hospital were rising by the day. Four doctors had even tendered their resignations, but took them back after being assured of 24X7 security by Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi.

Even as the Health secretary wrote to the Home secretary seeking security for doctors on duty, a medicine specialist sustained critical injuries after the kin of a patient assaulted him alleging negligence at Balasore district headquarters hospital today. The injured doctor, identified as Bharat Samal, has been admitted to the ICU of the hospital.

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