Functioning of government hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts was partially affected today following a token strike by doctors protesting action against six doctors over the death of Satnam Singh, a youngster from Bihar, at a mental hospital here on August 4.
The call for the strike was given by Kerala Government Medical Officer's Association (KGMOA). While out-patient sections in hospitals were affected, doctors attended casualty duties and were available for emergency surgeries.
Singh, who was arrested at Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram at Vallikavu in Kollam on August 1 after he tried to barge onto the podium where she was giving a spiritual discourse, died at the mental hospital here allegedly due to torture by jail and hospital staff.
Five doctors were suspended and a doctor on contract duty was dismissed on August 16 after an official enquiry by Additional Health Director Dr Ramani found lapses during the treatment as they failed to properly report the wounds found on Satnam Singh's body.
Two doctors at the mental hospital, two at the taluk hospital in Karunagappally and another at the Kollam district hospital were suspended, while a doctor on contract duty at the mental hospital was dismissed from service based on Dr Ramani's report.
Satnam Singh was first treated at Karunagappally and Kollam hospitals as he appeared mentally disturbed, before being taken to the mental hospital here.
KGMOA president Dr Vasudevan said doctors were being made scapegoats to save the real culprits behind Singh's murder.
The enquiry report was trying to put the blame on doctors for lapses on the part of administration, he said.
While the on-going Crime Branch probe into the incident was moving in the right direction, the report by Additional Health Director which sought to put the blame on doctors would only help weaken the case, he said.