In a recent incident in West Bengal, Dr Paribha Mukherjee, a young doctor was brutally attacked by a violent mob at NRS Medical College, Kolkata. He is critical and fighting for his life.
As part of the protest all doctors in the country will wear black badges on Friday, June 14. Dharna / protest meetings will be organised by the state units of IMA at respective state and district headquarters.
The Indian Medical Association has been demanding a ‘national law against hospital violence.’
The organisation 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.
Dr Harsh Vardhan condemns the reported incidences of violence against doctors and urges for restraint among patients and doctors’
The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has expressed concern on the recently reported incidences of violence against doctors.
Strongly condemning the violence, he said that it is necessary and important for the doctors to get a safe work environment. He stated that he shall take this matter up with the Chief Ministers so that such incidents can be avoided in the future.
“Doctors are an integral pillar of the society and often work under stressful and difficult conditions. I urge the patients and their caregivers to observe restraint”, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated. He also urged the doctors to observe restraint so that essential services to the people are not disrupted.
The IMA in its statement strongly condemned the brutal violence at NRS medical college and announced that the entire medical fraternity has expressed solidarity to the seriously injured doctors. IMA stated that the organisation is ready for an agitation to press for strong legislation and strict action against hospital violence.
Dr Sanjay Patil, President of IMA Pune, said, “The Indian Medical Association, Pune, condemns the violence perpetrated on an innocent and budding young doctor. Entire medical fraternity expresses our solidarity with the residents in NRS Medical College, Kolkata, who are on strike. We have decided to observe a Nationwide Protest Day on June 14 as per the directives received from IMA HQ & IMA MS.”
“All the 206 branches of IMA Maharashtra are going to send the protest letters and emails to Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and to all the MPs, MLAs and MLCs as well,” added Patil.
An appeal for the central law against hospital violence will be e-mailed to the prime minister and the central home minister by all the 2,500 local branches of IMA. Medical students and junior doctors will also participate in the protest.
Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, past president of Indian Medical Association, highlighted the issue of Violence Against Doctors in India in the Health 20 summit, Tokyo. He spoke about the latest incident in Kolkata and steps taken. The World Medical Association (WMA) leadership were briefed about it and the WMA is coming out with a statement condemning violence and supporting IMA
The National Law against violence on hospitals has to be brought in urgently. The law should provide a minimum of seven years imprisonment for hospital violence.
To ensure that the cases are registered, culprits are arrested and conviction is necessitated, appropriate mandatory provisions as provided in the POCSO Act has to be instituted. Hospitals should be declared as special zones and provision of appropriate security should be the responsibility of the state.
It has been observed that the increase in violence will adversely affect the public health at large. Not only the patients undergoing the treatment in the institution facing violence will be directly affected but also there are lot of indirect consequences.
Institutions will be reluctant to take up complicated and risky patients which will affect public health at large. Threat of violence increases the stress levels of health care workers. Sound judgment regarding patient care will be compromised in such situations.