Police to probe manhandling of NMC doc

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KATHMANDU, MAY 31

Nepal Police has formed a four-member probe committee to investigate the manhandling of an on-duty doctor at the emergency ward of Attarkhel-based Nepal Medical College and subsequent deletion of the CCTV footage of the incident.

The panel led by Superintendent of Police Somendra Singh Rathore of Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, includes a deputy superintendent of police.

On May 27, the doctor was allegedly beaten up by the son of a 54-year-old patient who had succumbed to ‘respiratory illness’ a few hours after being brought to the emergency ward of the hospital.

Talking to THT, the doctor, who was beaten up, alleged, “The man listened to us calmly when we briefed him about the death of his relative, but he charged at me and punched me when we sought his permission to test the deceased’s swab samples for COVID-19.”

According to him, the man alleged that his kin died due to the carelessness of doctors and that doctors were trying to hide their negligence by suggesting that the death occurred due to the respiratory pandemic.

After a heated debate on the issue with patients, doctors found to their shock that the CCTV footage of the incident inside the emergency ward was missing.

Doctors then went to Bouddha-based Metropolitan Police Circle to file an FIR against the man who had beaten up the on-duty doctor.

The medical fraternity, meanwhile, has criticised the incident and lamented that it was unfortunate doctors were being attacked even in the time of COVID-19 when they were risking their lives to save the lives of others.

Accusing the hospital’s administration of deleting the CCTV footage of the incident, protesting NMC doctors today padlocked the administrative block of the hospital and raised slogans outside the hospital decrying the bid to botch up the investigation.

The hospital’s management board later today formed an independent probe committee to investigate the case.

Meanwhile, the family of the deceased has written a letter to the hospital administration, Kathmandu District Administration Office and the local government, seeking fair investigation into the case.

The hospital administration, on the other hand, has refuted the allegation that it deleted the CCTV footage of the incident. Prakash Poudel, deputy director of NMC, said, “We do not know how the footage was deleted. We have handed over all the possible evidences to the police and will support the investigation.”

He added that the hospital administration was with the doctors and condemned the attack on a doctor of the hospital.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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