A doctor is a life-saver, care-giver, God in human form and what not! It is the noblest of professions, one which needs lifelong dedication and millions of sacrifices on one’s part. They work and serve with no fixed hours, often leading to zero personal life. Yet their own profession at times is unable to save them from the monstrous activities by the very mankind in whose service their lives are dedicated. The recent alleged molestation of a lady doctor by none other than the Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for Health, Shabir Ahmad Khan, comes in barely after a month of the incidence of thrashing of a junior doctor by a police inspector and his subordinates at the Solapur government medical college. What is really shocking is that these are the same ministers whom we have elected and on whose names bills against sexual harassment and for providing basic security at work place are passed. Plans and programmes such as Gender Sensitization etc are drafted with an assumption of a need for these only at the lower levels of work. High profiled Ministers in India are as if immune to them!
The whole medical world should join hands to condemn such a perverse act. It should not simply be plastered by the resignation of the accused. What is required is a swift and prompt enquiry into the incidence and necessary steps taken to punish the offender and ensure that justice is delivered. Such measures are necessary to deter any such untoward incidences in the future. This is not to be seen as an isolated incidence but one which reflects huge loopholes in our system for security of the lives and dignity of individual doctors.
According to reports, the police filed a case of molestation against the health minister on Thursday only on the directions of Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajiv Gupta, though the doctor had approached them for three consecutive days. The police, of course, denied these accusations. Once again these allegations reflect the casual attitude of the police and the government towards such incidences. As if physical abuse and humiliation of doctors by some of the patients’ relatives, policemen etc were not enough already, here is an abuse of a doctor in another nerve-wrenching avatar! Only strict and exemplary action against the accused and urgent steps to ensure safety of doctors can help restore doctors’ faith that they are themselves secured first to be able to take care of the ailing masses.