New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Central government on a petition seeking enactment of a law against perpetrators indulging in violence against medical professionals.
A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana issued a notice to the Centre, the Health Ministry and the Law Ministry and asked them to file a detailed response on the plea filed by Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI) Tamil Nadi Chapter. It has been filed on behalf of 56 private hospitals in Tamil Nadu.
Asserting that the violence against doctors has caused a lot of damage to the clinical establishments, the petitioners sought directions from the apex court to the government for taking immediate action against people attacking medical professionals and causing damage to medical establishments.
“Small and medium-sized private health care establishments, which provide the bulk of healthcare services, are isolated, disorganised and vulnerable to violence. Violence against health service providers is only a manifestation of this malady,” stated the petition.
This comes after a week after a 73-year-old doctor was beaten to death in Assam’s Jorhat district by tea garden workers after one of their co-workers died during the treatment.
This is not the first time such an incident has happened in the country. In June earlier this year, a nationwide doctor’s strike took place after a junior doctor at NRS hospital was assaulted by the family of a patient in Kolkata.
Following the uproar, the Union Health Ministry earlier this week sought suggestions from the public within 30 days on the draft legislation titled – The Health Services Personal and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of violence and damage to property) Bill, 2019.
Under this, the ministry has proposed to put a person behind bars with a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment and Rs 10 lakh fine for assaulting a doctor or healthcare personnel.
The proposed legislation is being introduced to address the rise in instances of violence against healthcare service professionals and damage to the property of clinical establishments across the country.