Upto Rs 5 lakh Compensation to Medicos victim of Violence: Union Health Ministry releases draft bill,invites comments
The proposed legislation seeks to punish people who assault on-duty doctors and other healthcare professionals by imprisoning them for up to 10 years. Besides the bill also calls for payment of compensation to the victims of assault which may extend to Rs 5 lakh
Another important salient feature of the bill is that it makes the offence of violence to be cognizable and non-bailable one
The objections/suggestions may be forwarded within 30 days from the date of issue of this notice by email at us-ms-mohfwnic.in or to Shri. Rajeev Attri, Under Secretary (Medical Services Division), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Room No. 514(B), A-Wing, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi-110011. Only the comments received on the above -mail/ address and/or within the period of 30 days shall be taken into consideration, the notification issued by health ministry stated.
The bill aims to prohibit violence against healthcare service personnel and damage or loss to the property of clinical establishments and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto, after the government noted that to protect healthcare service personnel and property of clinical establishments against violence, it has become necessary to prohibit such acts of violence, to provide for punishment by making such acts of violence as cognizable and non-bailable offence and to provide compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to the property of clinical establishments
"No person shall indulge in any act of violence against healthcare service personnel or cause any damage or loss to any property in a clinical establishment", the bill states
Salient Features of the Bill Include
PAN INDIA Jurisdiction
Unlike previous bills enacted by various states which are only valid with the state Jurisdiction, this will be a Central act and would extend to the whole of India.
3. It applies to clinical establishments as defined in clause (a) of section 3 and registered under the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 or under any State Act for the time being in force.
Who Is Healthcare Service Professional?
The proposed legislation seeks to give protection to healthcare professionals and apart from doctors include medical students nurses, dentists, AYUSH practitioners, paramedical staff
In particular as per act "healthcare service personnel- in relation to a clinical establishment, shall include-
(i) A registered medical practitioner, possessing a recognized medical qualification as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and enrolled in a State Medical Register as defined in clause (k) of that section;
(ii) a medical practitioner registered for practicing in any other system of medicine which is recognized under any law for the time being in force;
(iii) a registered dentist, registered dental hygienist and registered dental mechanic as defined in clause (I) of Section 2 of the Dentist's Act, 1948;
(iv) a registered nurse, midwife, auxiliary nurse-midwife and health visitor who is registered as such under section 15A of the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947;
(v) a medical student who is undergoing education or training in any system of medicine recognized by any law for the time being in force;
(vi) a nursing student who is undergoing education or training in nursing profession;
(vii) a para-medical worker, para-medical student and diagnostic services provider; and
(viii) ambulance driver and helper,
What As a Clinical Establishment?
As per the act "clinical establishment" can range from a single doctor clinic to a big hospital.For the purposes of this clause, an ambulance or a mobile medical unit shall be deemed to be a clinical establishment if such vehicle is fitted with medical equipment and is used for providing healthcare service.
Clinical Establishment Act has been defined as
(i) a hospital, maternity home, nursing home, dispensary, clinic, sanatorium or an institution by whatever name called that offers services, facilities requiring diagnosis, treatment or care for illness, injury, deformity, abnormality or pregnancy in any recognized system of medicine established and administered or maintained by any person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not; or
(ii) a place established as an independent entity or part of an establishment referred to in sub-clause (i), in connection with the diagnosis or treatment of diseases where pathological, bacteriological, genetic, radiological, chemical, biological investigations or other diagnostic or investigative services with the aid of laboratory or other medical equipment, are usually carried on, established and administered or maintained by any person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not;
and shall include a clinical establishment owned, controlled or managed by -
(A) the Government or a department of the Government; or a Public Sector Undertaking or Autonomous Body of the Government;
(B)a trust, whether public or private;
(C)a corporation (including a society) registered under a Central, or Provincial or State Act, whether or not owned by the Government;
(D)a local authority; and
(E)a single doctor,
Offences and penalties
(1) Whoever commits violence or abets or incites commission of violence against any healthcare service personnel or abets or incites or causes damage or loss to any property of a clinical establishment, shall, upon conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years, and with fine, which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees;
(2) Whoever, while committing violence as referred to in sub-section (1), causes grievous hurt as defined in section 320 of the Indian Penal Code to any healthcare service personnel, shall, upon conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to ten years, and with fine, which shall not be less than two lakh rupees, but which may extend to ten lakh rupees.
Compensation for acts of violence
The bill calls for payment of compensation by the culprits both in case of damage to property and in case of causing hurt to healthcare service personnel. These include
(i) an amount, twice the amount of fair market value of the damaged property or the loss caused, as may be determined by the court;
(ii)one lakh rupees for causing hurt to healthcare service personnel and five lakh rupees for causing grievous hurt to healthcare service personnel.
If the convicted person does not pay the compensation granted under sub-section (1), the said sum shall be recovered as an arrear of land revenue under the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890, the draft says
Information of offence
The bill lays the onus of complaint on the person in charge of the Clinical Establishment
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, upon a written request of the aggrieved healthcare service personnel, it shall be mandatory for the person in charge of a clinical establishment to inform the officer in charge of the concerned police station of the commission of an offence under this Act.
Offence to be cognizable and non-bailable
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, an offense punishable under this Act shall be cognizable and non-bailable.
Investigation of offence
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, any case registered under this Act shall be investigated by a police officer, not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.