Amid frequent incidents of manhandling of doctors by attendants of patients, the central government has proposed a new law seeking to protect doctors from such acts. The draft bill will treat such acts as congnisable and non-bailable offence. If passed, the bill will ensure imprisonment up to 10 years and a penalty up to 10 lakhs. The provisions are the part of Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of violence and damage to property) Bill, 2019
Earlier in July this year, the Union health ministry had constituted a 10-member committee to mull over legislative solution to curb the violence against doctors.
“We want to reduce increasing cases of violence against doctors. We are looking for suggestions on the draft legislation before the bill is finalised. The objections or suggestions may be forwarded within 30 days. The maximum punishment will be 10 years imprisonment with Rs. 10 lakh fine, a Health Ministry official was quoted by News Agency ANI.
Recently, situation exacerbated in West Bengal as Indian Medical Association (IMA) held a solidarity protest across India against the violence in the state. Dr Paribaha Mukherjee, a doctor at NRS Medical College, Kolkata was brutally attacked by a violent mob.
At least 27 doctors of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Darjeeling resigned over the violence against doctors in the state. In the meantime, a total of 80 doctors of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata submitted their resignation. Also, 175 doctors of the state-run Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial (SSKM) Hospital submitted their resignation.