Doctors in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat on Friday joined the nationwide protest in solidarity against the attack on their colleagues in West Bengal. They submitted memoranda to the state authorities, seeking a special Central legislation for the safety of doctors on duty.
In Ahmedabad, around 700 doctors held a march on Ashram Road and submitted a memorandum, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to the district collector, said Gujarat State Secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Kamlesh Saini. The memorandum read, “There should be strong policy initiatives, strong legislation and supportive mechanisms to combat hospital violence… Central legislation in the form of a special law is mandatory in our country.”
In Vadodara, around 1,000 doctors and medical students carried out a rally from Baroda Medical College to the district collector’s office wearing black badges and submitted a memorandum demanding stricter laws in cases of violence against doctors. The protest ended with a blood donation camp at Baroda Medical College.
The memorandum submitted in Vadodara read, “(A) National law for violence against doctors has to be brought in urgently. The law should provide a minimum of seven years’ imprisonment for such cases of violence. To ensure justice, cases must be registered and culprits should be arrested and convicted in fast-track courts and the law should be as stringent as the POCSO Act. Hospitals should be declared special zones and provision of appropriate security should be the responsibility of the state.”
In Surat, the doctors of municipal corporation-run SMIMER Medical College and Hospital and New Civil Hospital on Friday tied black ribbons in protest and chanted slogans, condemning the attack on their colleagues in Kolkata’s Nil Ratan Sarkar (NRS) hospital on Monday.
The Surat chapter of IMA also submitted a memorandum to the collector and demanded a national law and stricter punishment in cases of attacks on doctors.
The memorandum submitted by IMA, Surat, president Dr Girish Modi, mentioned, “A mob attacked Dr Paribha Mukherjee, Dr Yash Tekwani and others in NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, a few days ago. We condemn such incident… There should be zero-tolerance policy on attacks on doctors. The World Medical Association has also supported the demand of a national law… All accused should be immediately arrested, so that the victim doctors can get justice.”
In Gujarat, a major incident of attack on doctors on duty was last reported from Ahmedabad Civil Hospital in March-April 2018. A patient, who was brought to the hospital in a serious condition and was operated on, did not survive and the relatives had barged into the operation theatre (OT). Following this the doctors and support staff in the OT ran away from there to escape any assault. The incident led to a strike of resident doctors in the civil hospital.