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Times of India
06 July 2010
By Shailvee Sharda
Lucknow, India

Dufferin Hosp Doctors Express Inability To Handle Extra Work
‘Medico-legal cases affect routine duties’
A crisis seems to be in store for the Lucknow police. Investigation undertaken by them in crimes related to women like cases of domestic violence, rape and molestation may not inch further. The reason: doctors at the Veerangna Avanti Bai Bal Avum Mahila Chikitsalaya (Dufferin Hospital) have expressed inability to handle medico–legal cases.

To note, Dufferin Hospital is the only centre in Lucknow where female medico–legal procedure is undertaken. In a letter to director general, medical and health, Dr R R Bharti, the doctors have said that medicolegal duties are time consuming and affect their routine duties as well.

Chief medical superintendent (CMS) Dr Meenu Sagar said that they attend 4–5 medico legal cases on a daily basis. The number soars at times.

“Owing to the sensitivity of the task, at least 3–4 hours are needed to examine any patient...the constant flow of patients keeps the doctors busy round the clock and by the time they are free, they are physically exhausted enough to assume any other duty,” said another officer.

The travail doesn’t end here. “Since the observations are to be presented before the court where the opposite party contests the merit of the case and even the reports made by us, we end up appearing before the court on most days,” said a team of doctors.

“Patient–care services suffer due to the burden of medico–legal cases. Then, we have just 29 doctors, and out of them, 13 are engaged in medico legal cases. One can easily understand the patients’ load and shortage of doctors,” said Sagar.

The chief medical officer (CMO) of a district posts doctors on medico–legal and postmortem duties.

Lucknow CMO Dr A K Shukla admitted that in case the health department fulfilled the demand of the lady–doctors from Dufferin Hospital, this aspect (medico–legal) would be affected.

Deputy inspector general, Lucknow, Rajeev Krishna said, “Alternate arrangements would have to be made. Medico legal reports are a crucial link in police investigation and cannot be avoided as per the relevant sections of the law.”

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