Meghalaya Health Associations Denounce Violence Towards Healthcare Professionals at Shibbari PHC

SHILLONG: 2 May 2023 (PTI Source)

The MMSA (Meghalaya Medical Services Association) and the MGNSA (The Meghalaya Government Nursing Services Association) have denounced a viral video that depicts a quarrel between some locals and staff nurses of Shibbari Primary Health Center (PHC) that took place on April 20. The video was recorded by one of the people involved in the altercation and was later widely circulated on social media platforms. Consequently, the nurses became the target of criticism from different corners.

However, the nursing and medical associations have stated that the video was one-sided and has unfairly portrayed the nurses as being at fault. They criticized the social media channels for not verifying the facts and instead spreading misinformation and defaming the nurses. They also pointed out that the video was edited with memes and songs to ridicule the nurses.

MGNSA president JCK Sangma expressed disappointment that people had left their comments and made derogatory remarks against the nurses with the intent to malign their profession. He emphasised that they would not tolerate such behaviour towards their profession and stood united against it.

According to the PHC staff, the incident began when two people, including a child, came to the emergency section of the PHC on the evening of April 20 seeking medical attention. After receiving medical aid, they were advised to stay back at the PHC for further monitoring, but they refused and left after taking the prescribed medication. Later, a group of locals came to the PHC and accused the staff of neglecting the patients, alleging that they were only given Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) and left to fend for themselves. The staff showed them the prescription and medications issued to the patients and informed them that they were advised to stay back, but they chose to leave. Despite this, the locals continued to accuse the staff of neglecting the patients. In frustration, one of the nurses commented on their level of education, leading to a heated argument.

The staff of the PHC filed a police report one day later, and the very individuals who had argued with them arrived to express regret and find a resolution. However, one of them had already posted the video on social media, which went viral. The MGNSA and MMSA have requested social media users to verify facts before posting anything that could defame or cause mental harassment to professionals in the medical field.