The Kerala Police on Sunday registered a case against a senior doctor of the state-run General Hospital in Kochi for allegedly making unwarranted sexual advances towards a junior, forcibly hugging and kissing her in his private consultation room four years ago.
The woman was allegedly assaulted in 2019 by the doctor – a general physician and then the Head of the Department of Medicine, the police said.
“The complaint came in an e-mail. The statement of the complainant will be recorded soon and necessary action will be taken accordingly,” a senior police official told news agency PTI.
A female doctor recently made the allegations on a Facebook post, prompting the Kerala Health Minister, Veena George, to order an investigation into the complaint.
In the Facebook post, the doctor, currently employed abroad, claimed that the then Head of the Department of Medicine had “physically assaulted” her in his private consultation room outside the hospital quarters.
She said she was an intern at the time and had gone to him to lodge an official complaint against a senior consultant.
“I went alone. Since it was 7 pm, I was getting ready to leave. He hugged and kissed me on my face, holding me close to him. I froze and pulled myself away. I complained to the higher officials the next day. No action was initiated initially. I was in the middle of my internship and didn’t make any further complaints as he was a senior official and had the power to sabotage my internship certification process. I was scared,” she wrote.
The senior doctor was recently transferred to another hospital, and no strict action was taken against him other than stalling his promotion, she said, adding that it took her years to talk about this openly.
“I want to expose the predator and make sure everyone knows about his antics. And the female doctors, including myself, whom he abused, should get justice. Such doctors are a disgrace to society and must not be allowed to practice. I’m hoping my post reaches the right people, who will take stringent action against such perverts,” she said.
The health department has initiated a probe into whether attempts were made to downplay the incident in 2019.