Kottayam (Ker) | A case has been registered against a man for allegedly misbehaving with a female doctor at a government health facility in a village in this district after she stepped out to have a meal, police said on Monday.
The incident was reported from Velloor on October 21, they said.
The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by doctor Sreeja Raj (37) against Shahim.
A case under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code including sections 341 (wrongful restraint) 294 B (usage of obscene words) and 353 (deter public servant from discharge of his duty) was registered along with the provisions of the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act.
The accused is a local leader of the CPI(M), sources said.
The FIR stated that the accused stopped the doctor on October 21 while she was leaving the treatment room at around 2.30 pm and verbally abused her, after which she fell unconscious.
There were over 150 patients waiting, and the doctor, who had been working since early morning, stepped out to grab a quick meal.
However, the patients, including the accused, protested and argued with her, following which she became unconscious.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association (KGMOA) has urged the government to take steps to end the shortage of staff at the hospitals and increase the doctor-patient ratio.
KGMOA, in a statement issued on Sunday evening, termed as 'unfortunate' the incident that occurred at the hospital.
"In order to prevent the recurrence of such humiliating incidents, the development of health facilities should not be limited to the development of physical conditions alone.
"There should also be timely reforms in human resources, taking into account the increasing number of patients," KGMOA said.
The association said the doctors are working under heavy pressure due to limited human resources at the hospitals.
"Even though there are around 80,000 doctors in Kerala, only 6,165 doctor posts are available in the health department. In recent times, the number of people approaching the government medical sector has increased a lot.
"At least 50 per cent of the people depend on government hospitals for treatment in Kerala," KGMOA said.
In order to follow the World Health Organisation's recommended doctor-to-population ratio of 1:1,000, Kerala requires the service of 17,665 more doctors, it added.