IMA ponders possible solutions to deal with doctor attacks

In a recent meeting of the doctors and hospital owners in Pune, some IMA members suggested very significant suggestions. Some of the key points from the discussion will be in the line of action in the near future

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The hooligans and crowd attacking the doctor community is a thing of fear these days. Every day, in any nook or corner of India, a doctor or a nurse or any health worker, in a hospital is attacked. These attacks may be of any form, it could be verbal abuse, slapping, beating, injuring, or maybe assassinating these health service providers, making out their solemn duty of giving treatment to the patients.

On the one hand, the society, hooligans, politicians, and the media show hostility against the doctors, and on the other side, doctors are silenced, bearing hard-hit blows from them like a punching bag.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) would like to adopt some steps in this matter:

Security precautions of the hospitals and doctors:

IMA will prepare a detailed document on the precaution11ary measures of the hospitals and doctors.

The measures will be different for small, medium, and large hospitals.

There will be restrictions on entering the hospital premises.

The important aspect of recording the identity of the entrants on the premises will be a prime focus. With the help of physical, mechanical methods, and electronic gadgets, this information will be sought. The security measures will be like Airport or hotels where all the entrants need to produce the id proofs to enter the premises.

A booklet on these measures will be published soon.

Security provided by retired police officers

  • The help of the recently formed association of retired police officers will be taken. They will personally inspect, and audit the security measures of every hospital seeking assistance in this regard.
  • The members of this association will be summoned during the incidents leading to violence. Police officers are trained to diffuse such tense and possible violent situations.
  • Their help will prove imperative in such situations.
  • IMA has already proposed this type of security measures for the Hospitals in Pune.

Violence registry

  • A detailed record of the incidents of violence will be prepared in the form of Violence Registry.
  • A digital document system to record the occurrences of violence is being prepared.
  • All the 210 IMA branches in the state of Maharashtra will send the incidents happening in their jurisdiction.
  • These records will be stored centrally and will be available in all the hospitals and the doctors all over India.
  • The incidents of all types of violence will be documented, like verbal abuse, physical abuse, violent actions, purposeful destruction of the hospital premises, equipment, furniture, and others. The physical or verbal abuse incidents not only with the doctors, but with the staff, nurses, ayahs, ward boys, and clerical staff will also be taken into account.
  • The register will include the date, time and venue of the incident; the exact nature of the violent actions, the details of the loss of hospital property with the cost, the names of the doctors and the staff being aimed at or handled, the names of the suspects, the details of the police complaints, if registered in a police station.
  • A digital system is in the plan in which any of the suspects in any violent incident in Maharashtra will be notified if he seeks medical treatment in any of the hospitals in Maharashtra. The doctor on duty will decide to treat or refuse such a person as a patient.
  • As per the prevailing rules and laws, a doctor can refuse to treat any person, except the emergency, and life-saving medical conditions.

The movement of the doctors in India to counter the violent incidences in a civilized and legal manner will go on. The struggle includes the demand of making a Central Law for the violence against the healthcare establishments and service providers. We welcome the positive response from the union health minister in making the inter-ministerial committee to make such legislation.