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violence against doctors: An Intern’s Skull Was Fractured By An Angry Mob

Emergency wards, outdoor facilities, pathological units of many government medical colleges and hospitals, and a number of private medical facilities in West Bengal have remained closed over the past 4 days to protest an attack and injury to an intern doctor after the death of a 75-year-old patient. Scores of doctors across Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad have decided to boycott work for a day to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in West Bengal. Doctors at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were seen wearing helmets and bandages as they attended to patients.


The IMA has also urged its state branches to communicate the information to the government doctors' organisations of the states, request for their support and issue a press statement to this effect.


"The gruesome incident in NRS Medical College, Kolkata is of barbaric nature. IMA condemns the violence perpetrated on a young doctor. The entire medical fraternity expresses solidarity with the resident doctors who are on strike. The IMA headquarters hereby declares All India Protest Day on Friday," the statement said.



The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of a central law to check violence against health care workers in hospitals. The doctors' body also condemned any form of violence especially against medical professionals in the country


HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The IMA launched a protest from Friday to express solidarity with the Kolkata doctors

  2. The IMA also wrote to Amit Shah demanding enactment of a central law to check violence against doctors

  3. The apex body of doctors said the protest will continue on Saturday and Sunday as well

n a letter to Amit Shah, the IMA requested him "to bring a central legislation in the form of special law against violence on doctors and health care establishments".


"Any form of violence against medical profession and facilities will be counterproductive, demoralise health providers, thus taking away the confidence and courage of medical profession especially in critical situations," it said.


"Ultimately the situation will adversely impact on patient care and safety and implications will be far reaching," it said.


Renewing the demand for a central law, the IMA said the law should have a provision for a minimum of seven-year jail sentence to violaters.


To ensure that the cases are registered, culprits are arrested and conviction is necessitate, appropriate mandatory provisions as provided in the POCSO Act have to be instituted, it demanded.


Hospitals should be declared as safe zones and provision of appropriate security should be the responsibility of the state, it said.


"IMA condemns the recent incident of violence against Dr Paribaha Mukherjee who was brutally attacked by a violent mob at NRS Medical College, Kolkata and demands an exemplary action by the state government. All the legitimate demands of the resident doctors in West Bengal should be accepted unconditionally," RV Asokan, Secretary General of IMA, said.


The IMA said all non-essential services including OPDs will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on June 17, while emergency and causality services will continue to function.


"Safety and security in hospitals have been a matter of great concern and need to be addressed. IMA has been demanding a central law against hospital violence and has declared a zero-tolerance policy against violence on doctors and healthcare establishments.


"World Medical Association has also passed a resolution against violence on healthcare establishments and urged to bring stronger legislation against this menace," Asokan said.


Violence in hospitals will adversely affect patient care and institutions will be reluctant to take up complicated and risky patients which will affect critical care. Threat of violence increases the stress levels of health care workers. Sound judgment regarding patient care will be compromised in such situations, he explained.


"A national law against violence in hospitals has to be brought in urgently that should provide a minimum of seven years imprisonment for hospital violence," Asokan said.


The doctors have been agitating since Tuesday in West Bengal demanding security for themselves in government hospitals, after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital.


Reference : India Today, Reuters


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