NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry has formed a 10-member committee to examine the pros and cons of bringing a central legislation against assault on doctors on duty and violence in clinical establishments.
Last month, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had held a nationwide protest following an assault on doctors at the NRS Medical College in Kolkata and demanded the enactment of a central law to check violence on medical professionals in hospitals.
“The committee was constituted on July 5 to examine the pros and cons of bringing out a central legislation against assault on doctors on duty and clinical establishments,” said the health ministry.
The panel, comprising members from the home ministry and the legal affairs department, is scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
It will also have representatives from the Medi-cal Council of India and doctors’ associations, and medical superintendents of AIIMS and RML Hospital as members.
The IMA has welcomed the Centre’s move for a committee to discuss issues related to a Central Act for the security of doctors.
“The IMA has won the first battle in its struggle against violence. The Union government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to go into the central legislation against the assault on doctors and hospitals. Congratulations to the entire medical fraternity,” said the IMA in a statement.
The IMA had launched a four-day nation-wide protest last month following the Kolkata incident and wrote to home minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of a central law saying it should have a provision for a minimum of seven-year jail sentence to violators.
Following the incident, junior doctors went on a week-long agitation, disrupting health care services at all state-run hospitals in Kolkata. Doctors at several other hospitals across the country also boycotted work, held marches to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in Kolkata.