New Delhi: According to a draft bill prepared by the Health Ministry, anyone who attacks a doctor at a hospital may be jailed for up to 10 years or fined Rs 10 lakh. This draft bill has been prepared to deal with rising cases of assault on doctors while they are at work.
This came three days after a mob killed a retired 73-year-old doctor at a tea estate in Assam because he was not present when a temporary worker died at the estate hospital.
The Health Ministry has asked for feedback from the public on how to improve the draft Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019, which was made public on Monday.
According to news agency ANI, an official said, “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."
Cases of people thrashing doctors on duty are not uncommon across the country, especially at crowded state-run hospitals that see thousands of patients every day. The assaults are usually triggered by the death of a patient or what people perceive as lack of attention from doctors.