Mangaluru, July 03, 2019: Indian Medical Association (IMA) -Mangaluru branch President Dr B Sachidanand Rai condemned Zilla Panchayat President Meenakshi Shanthigodu for abusing an on-duty doctor and demanded a public apology, at a press conference July 2, Tuesday.
Doctors in private and government-run hospitals in the district are in a confrontation with Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat President Meenakshi Shantigodu, if the latter failed to keep her promise on tendering an apology to Dr Archana Karikala serving in government hospital in Puttur.
A few days ago, Meenakshi, a BJP member, had stormed into the government hospital in Puttur and had insulted Dr Archana before her patients for not attending to a dalit patient.
The ZP president’s supporters had even made a video of the pregnant doctor being humiliated and had circulated the clipping on social media.
“Meenakshi should also withdraw her remarks that doctors have no common sense,” Indian Medical Association (IMA)-Mangaluru branch President Dr B Sachidanand Rai said.
IMA’s representative to state Dr Shivprakash said Meenakshi, who was an Asha volunteer before becoming ZP president, was familiar with the hardships faced by doctors serving in government hospitals. Dr Deepak Rai, medical officer, Government Hospital-Puttur, said as against the sanctioned 15 specialist posts, only three specialists were serving in the hospital.
“Before taking the doctors to task, she must first address the issues of lack of infrastructure and vacant posts in the government-run hospitals,” Dr Rai added.
Wenlock Hospital Superintendent Dr Rajeshwari Devi H R said that Meenakshi’s outburst against a doctor, who had gained a reputation of being a caring doctor, was not a good development. “If elected representatives react irresponsibly the trust between the patient and doctor will suffer. Doctors’ work is above religion and regionalism. Treat doctors as humans,” she urged people.
Uproar in ZP meeting : The issue of an FIR against Zilla Panchayat President Meenakshi Shantigodu echoed at ZP meeting held on July 2, Tuesday.
Congress ZP Member M S Muhammed and others maintained that the members had a right to know the truth. Meenakshi Shantigodu, who presided over the meet, said that when she went along with a girl to the government hospital in Puttur, the doctors neglected the patient.
She wanted the doctor to examine the girl, who was allegedly tortured both physically and mentally by the police on theft charges. The parents of the girl were also allegedly beaten up by the police, Meenakshi added. There was chaos at the meeting when member Shahul Hamid sought to know whether a ZP president, who is facing charges, can chair the meeting.
Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer R Selvamani clarified that there were no references in the Panchayat Raj Act on curtailing the prerogative of a ZP president, who was facing charges.