A rising number of incidents in the country where irate relatives of a patient have thrashed a doctor has led the medical pracitioners in Uttarakhand to take measures to ensure their safety. Doctors are using a smartphone app called Doctors Emergency Rescue Task (DERT) which is quipped with a panic button that sends texts and notifications along with the location of the user in case of an emergency. Over 150 doctors have signed up for the app.
In Uttarakhand, a paediatrician at a government hospital in Jaspur was shot dead in April 2016 allegedly by a man after the doctor reportedly refused to treat his ailing son. A doctor at Coronation hospital was also beaten with slippers by an angry mob after a patient he treated died in June 2016.
It was the rise in such cases that prompted third year computer science student at Vellore Institute of Technology, Sharad Agarwal, whose parents are doctors practising in Dehradun, to develop an app to help the medical fraternity.
Doctors said that the app is required as many cases of violence against doctors by kin of patients are being reported. According to estimates by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), over 75% of doctors across the country are reported to have faced at least some form of violence. In the latest incident, a doctor at a government hospital in Dhule was brutally beaten up by relatives of an accident victim on Sunday.