IMA withdraws pan India protest after assurance for Amit Shah, Dr Harsh Vardhan
New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has withdrawn its planned pan-India protest after the Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan interacted with the association's representatives and appreciated their good work besides assuring them security.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported that with no end to this horrific menace of violence against doctors, while they are at the frontline and putting in every possible effort in this national response against COVID-19; the IMA had moved the Central Government asking it to enact central law for the protection of doctors.
Calling for an immediate end to violence and abuse against doctors and medical professionals across the country, the IMA had declared that doctors and medical professionals across the country will light a candle at 9 pm on April 22 as protest and vigil against this evil of assault.
The IMA termed it as 'White Alert' to the nation. It said that doctors across the country will work with black badges on April 23 and declare it as 'Black Day' if the government fails to enact central law on violence against doctors and hospitals.
What triggered the association was a recent incident in Chennai wherein a 55-year-old neurosurgeon's burial was protested by the locals. The doctor has contracted COVID 19 while treating a patient. And there were several other incidents where atrocities are being faced by the healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, after the IMA's declaration, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah interacted with the doctors and the IMA through video-conferencing. Shah appreciated their good work and assured them full security. The home minister appealed to them to not do even a symbolic protest as the government is with the doctors, a home ministry official informed PTI.
Later Shah tweeted, "Health Minister @drharshvardhan and I interacted with doctors & representatives of IMA through videoconferencing. The way our doctors are performing their duties in these testing times is exceptional. I urge every Indian to cooperate with doctors in this fight against COVID-19," he said.
Health Minister @drharshvardhan and I interacted with doctors & representatives of IMA through video conferencing.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 22, 2020
The way our doctors are performing their duties in these testing times is exceptional. I urge every Indian to cooperate with doctors in this fight against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/DCHONTWNs3
In another tweet, the home minister said, "Safety and dignity of our doctors at their workplace is non-negotiable. It is our collective responsibility to ensure conducive atmosphere for them at all times. I have assured doctors that Modi govt is committed to their cause and appealed to reconsider their proposed protest."
Safety and dignity of our doctors at their work place is non-negotiable. It is our collective responsibility to ensure conducive atmosphere for them at all times.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 22, 2020
I have assured doctors that Modi govt is committed to their cause and appealed to reconsider their proposed protest. pic.twitter.com/AJcxghGRkx
In a statement issued following the meeting with Shah, the IMA noted, "considering the immediate high-level response of government and solid assurance given by the home minister himself, it is decided that the white alert protest of [April] 22 and black day of [April] 23 stands withdrawn to maintain the unity and integrity of our country".
"Home Minister, Health minister & all others acknowledged and praised IMA & the medical community for their great efforts & sacrifice in this testing times. Especially Shri Amit Shah was very much aware and concerned about it. He has assured that the government of India will take all necessary steps & come out shortly with relevant legislation to address the safety and dignity of doctors and health caregivers, the IMA stated.View the official statement issued by the IMA attached below:
On behalf of medical community, I am grateful to Hon. HM @AmitShah and Health Minister @drharshvardhan for appreciating our services and acknowledging the safety, dignity & concerns of Doctors & Health personnel. We assure our complete cooperation to govt in this time of crisis. pic.twitter.com/Eatl9YEwHv— Indian Medical Association (@IMAIndiaOrg) April 22, 2020