New Delhi: In view of rising cases of assault on doctors, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded introduction of a “Clinical Establishment Act”, which will have a minimum of seven years imprisonment in healthcare violence.
It has also urged the government to set up special fast track courts for swift conviction. On the occasion of Doctor’s Day on Sunday, the IMA declared July 1-8 as “safe fraternity week” with an aim to raise awareness on “zero tolerance to violence against doctors and clinical establishment”, which it says remains a burning issue.
“Even though 19 states have adopted medicare acts, until now no conviction has been done despite of numerous violent episodes. This does not arouse any confidence, and we demand for a robust and a proactive approach (central medicare act) to protect healthcare professionals and clinical establishments, which should be declared as safe zones,” said Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, National President, IMA.
“Conviction should be done at utmost priority in special fast track courts, and the act should be strong enough to apply non-bailable offence against the culprit along with the losses to clinical establishment to be recovered from them. IMA demands a minimum imprisonment of 7 years in healthcare violence and treat cyber trolling at par with it,” he added.
The association said it is also dismayed by silence of the civil society against the evil of antisocial elements. “It is the increased cost of delivering healthcare which has grown exponentially over the last two decades whose anguish is being misdirected towards the doctors. Sailing against many odds, like uneven working hours and stressful environment, doctors still are delivering their best possible services. But the people who actually come across the healthcare outcomes are owned by the government which are most of the time are misguided towards the medical fraternity,” said Dr Wankhedkar.
In the last one-year, there have been several cases of assault on doctors by irate family members of patients, following which many doctors, including those in the national capital, had taken to streets to bring strict provisions against the issue.