On the light of the continuing assault against doctors, the Indian Medical Association has made an appeal to the union government for early enactment of a law to control the attacks against the doctors with a provision of stringent action against attackers.
The government had recently formed an inter-ministerial committee to frame central legislation covering the important features of the acts already enacted by 22 states to deal with an attack on doctors and health establishments. The appeal was made following an attack on three resident doctors of the civic-run Nair Hospital in central Mumbai by the relatives of a patient. The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has already condemned the attack demanding a strict Central Protection Act for doctors.
“The Central act should make violence against doctors and healthcare establishments a non-bailable offence. Are we asking anything more? Isn’t security a basic right of a doctor? IMA has been fighting for the security of doctors and demanding their safety at all places including government and municipal hospitals,” said Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, former secretary, IMA Maharashtra. Maharashtra had enacted the Violence against Medical Practitioners and Healthcare Establishment Prevention Act in 2010. Still, as on date, there has been a conviction in only one case and the rest of 100 cases are pending for action. Even though other states enacted similar laws, little action was taken against those indulging into attacks against doctors.
The Central law would not only prohibit violence but also allow for compensation to the hospital and penalty for improper investigations. Meanwhile, the centre has asked the state governments to enforce the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code with vigour where such a law was not present and take strict action in case of assault against a doctor.
The IMA has promised to keep up the pressure on the government and ensure that such a law was passed by the parliament. This was after the doctors across the country called off the strike in June.
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