A month after two junior doctors were attacked by the family of a patient at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, leading to a week-long agitation, the Union health ministry has set up a panel to examine the “pros and cons” of bringing a legislation against assault on doctors on duty.
The committee, constituted on July 5, comprises of members from the Home Ministry and the Legal Affairs Department. It will also have representatives from the Medical Council of India and doctors’ associations, and medical superintendents of AIIMS and RML Hospital as members.
Welcoming the move by the Centre, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said, “IMA has won the first battle in its struggle against violence. The Union government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to go into the central legislation against the assault on doctors and hospitals. Congratulations to the entire medical fraternity.”
The IMA had launched a four-day nationwide protest last month following the Kolkata incident and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of a Central law, saying it should have a provision for a minimum of seven-year jail sentence to violaters.
Doctors at several other hospitals across the country also boycotted work, held marches and raised slogans to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in Kolkata.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Harsh Vardhan had supported the demand for a Central law and had said that such crimes should be made non-bailable.
He had also written to all states, requesting chief ministers to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence, along with suggesting a model law proposed by the IMA.
(With inputs from PTI)
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