Ascertaining cases of Violence against healthcare workers on govt radar: Home ministry
New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry is ascertaining cases of violence against healthcare workers engaged in surveillance and quarantine measures.
"The Ministry is monitoring on a daily basis incidents of violation of lockdown guidelines, including congregation of people and opening of shops and establishments," read a notice by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, here on Thursday.
The Centre also asked officials to ensure implementation of lockdown guidelines and warned of action if violations were found. "The MHA would take action under the Disaster Management Act against officers found responsible for such violations," it said.
The notice has come after 17 people, including seven women, were arrested for pelting stones on an ambulance carrying a team of medical personnel and the police in Moradabad, UP. On Wednesday, a mob tried to prevent a medical team from taking a coronavirus patient into isolation. They hurled stones at an ambulance, leaving four injured, in the Nawabpura area of Moradabad. The injured included one doctor and three paramedics. A police vehicle was also damaged.
The move also comes at a time when the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences yesterday also wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and urged for the implement a proposed law that prohibits violence against healthcare professionals and clinics. Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported similar letters have also been written by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as well as FORDA
In the letter dated April 16, the RDA said that in spite of an advisory issued by the Home Ministry to ensure protection to the doctors, there were multiple instances of violence against them all over the country.
At least seven incidents of violence against the healthcare workers, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country were mentioned, including the Moradabad incident of April 15, wherein a team of doctors and other medical staff were attacked by a mob.
The RDA also mentioned the incident reported at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital wherein a female doctor was allegedly assaulted by a patient on April 14.
The letter noted that the healthcare professionals were not scared of infection but assault and abuse by the very community getting treatment.
"This has become an emerging unforeseen 'occupational hazard'. We treat our patients suffering from life-threatening diseases and infections without getting worried about our own safety but what we get in return is violence from the relatives of patients," the RDA said, adding that "we request you to implement 'The Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill' as proposed by the Ministry of Health."