June 18, 2021 8:23:47 pm
About 35,000 doctors of the Indian Medical Association Tamil Nadu branch joined the nationwide protest on Friday, demanding a central legislation to protect hospitals and healthcare professionals from violence. The IMA had called for the protest against recent incidents of violence against healthcare professionals in different parts of the country.
The protest with the slogan “Save the Saviors” was peaceful and it did not affect the services in the hospitals, according to Dr A K Ravikumar honorary state secretary of IMA. No medical services were withdrawn or patient care interrupted during the protest, which strictly followed the covid lockdown protocols.
“Our members wore black badges as a sign of protest. Our medicare service to the patients remained unaffected,” he told PTI.
Awareness banners and placards were displayed at various hospitals and clinics, which are members of the IMA. Dr Ravikumar said compared to other states in the country, the state was better placed as it had enacted the ‘Tamil Nadu Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions Prevention of violence and damage or loss to Property Act 48, 2008,’ during the tenure of former Chief Minister, the late M Karunanidhi.
“Since the Act came into existence, violence against healthcare professionals has drastically declined in Tamil Nadu. But unfortunately, police in some of the districts are unaware of this act. We have requested the state DGP to sensitise the Act among the subordinate officials,” he said.
About 5,000 hospitals and clinics, which are members of the IMA, participated in the day-long protest on Friday. Urging Chief Minister M K Stalin to support their cause for a central legislation similar to the Act 48 of 2008, IMA state president Dr P Ramakrishnan and Dr Ravikumar pointed out that Tamil Nadu was the second state to come out with such an act to protect the medical professionals and hospitals from violence.
Acts of violence were happening at regular intervals in various states of India and even women were nor spared, they said.
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