A well known government civil surgeon, who had raised the issue of absence of masks and PPE suits for healthcare professionals at a government hospital, has been admitted to a mental health institute in Vizag after he was publicly manhandled by the police for staging a dharna.
Dr K Sudhakar Rao has been in the news in recent weeks following his suspension from service for the use of inappropriate language against chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy. The incident had taken place when his demand for the basic protective gear against COVID-19 for doctors, nurses and others at the Narsipatnam government hospital were not heard.
But what has shocked the medical fraternity and the general public is the manner in which Dr Sudhakar Rao was “manhandled” by the police on the road in front of the hospital where he was staging a protest against his suspension.
Dr Manne Veeraiah Chowdhary, Indian Medical Association (IMA) president, Prakasam district, told The Lede: “Both sides behaved in the most inappropriate manner. Dr Sudhakar is a civil surgeon. His rank is equivalent to that of a Superintendent of Police (SP). He should not have been taken into custody in such a reprehensible manner. Even Dr Sudhakar is wrong in abusing the police. Even if he had consumed liquor, he should not have been ill-treated.”
The IMA vice president Dr Gangadhar said: “The IMA takes strong exception to the brutality with which the police arrested Dr Sudhakar. He is senior civil surgeon and a qualified doctor to handle COVID-19 patients, a rare resource at present times. He has been suspended more than a month ago and no due process was followed. He might have staged a dharna due to depression. If he has abused the chief minister, there are ways to deal with it.”
Meanwhile, a statement from the Commissoner of Police RK Meena described Dr Sudhakar Rao as “mentally ill” even before the Superintendent of the King George hospital, Dr S Radharani had issued a statement in this regard.
Dr Radharani said: “He is anxious, he is continuously talking irrelevant things. So we have referred him to the mental health care centre.”
The West Bengal Doctors’ Association, among others, have come out in support of Dr Sudhakar