The Tripura government is set to introduce a Hospital Services Protection Act to protect doctors,nurses and paramedical staff in its hospitals from violence inflicted by irate patients and their relatives. The Bill is currently being scrutinised by a steering committee set up by the state government.
Tripura Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty said hospitals in Tripura have recorded a number of instances of violence. Not only are our medical staff are exposed to attacks by irate relatives of patients,often hospital property is also damaged, Chakraborty said. He pointed out that the Act will include both government and private hospitals. Last month,Uttar Pradesh introduced a similar Bill and Tripura will be the first state in the Northeast to introduce the Bill in its next Assembly session.
Tamil Nadu,Andhra Pradesh,Orissa and West Bengal are the other states where such an Act is in force.
Based on the Andhra Pradesh Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property,Ordinance 2007) Act,the Tripura government will prohibit violence against medical service personnel and institutes and make such offences cognizable and non-bailable. It has proposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 or imprisonment of up to three years or both.
The Act will also cover maternity homes and proposes recovery of damages in cases of damage to hospital property.