Home / News / India /  Hospitals should be classified as protected zone: IMA chief after assault on doctor

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded stringent rules to prevent any incident of violence against healthcare workers.

Referring to an incident in Assam where a mob thrashed a doctor, IMA president Dr JA Jayalal said: "The IMA and the whole fraternity of the country are saddened and anguished to see a brutal attack on the young and vibrant doctor."

He said that the government should take steps to boost the morale and health of doctors.

"On one side, people are commenting unsavoury things about doctors and on the other side, they are physically assaulting them. Hospitals should be announced as a protected zone so that the security of doctors is protected. We demand a stringent Act to prevent such incidents," said Jayalal.

The sentiment was echoed by IMA chief in Assam Dr Satyajit Borah, who said that people who attacked the doctor should be booked under Epidemic Act.

"All those people must be booked under stringent laws. They should be booked under Epidemic Act and also the Assam Medicare Service Act should be invoked. We demand a fast-track trial and a verdict should be delivered within three months," said Borah.

"The government should come out with a permanent solution. We demand that the government put up armed forces in all the healthcare establishments, including the Covid care centres," he added.

Letter to Amit Shah

The apex medical body had also written to Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, seeking an effective and strong law "against healthcare violence".

In a letter, the IMA called the attack on Dr Suej Kumar after a Covid-19 patient died a "barbaric attack".

"It was an extremely inhuman attack," the IMA said. The doctor was working in the Covid care centre in the Hojal district of the state.

The IMA urged the minister to consider its appeal on an emergency basis and enact the strong and effective Act to safeguard the healthcare professionals of the country.

IMA said that healthcare violence is violent incidents directed against doctors, healthcare staff and healthcare establishments with or without reason.

It said that the incidences of healthcare violence have increased over the years and have become widespread and pose threat to the medical practice.

The medical body also pointed out that the fraternity has been working tirelessly during the pandemic and is still facing a serious threat from healthcare violence.

"There are many incidents of healthcare violence taking place across the country. Doctors and healthcare staff is finding it difficult to work under stress of violence," read the letter.

"Healthcare violence has become an alarming phenomenon across the country. The real size of problem is largely unknown and recent information shows that the current knowledge is tip of iceberg," it added.

IMA also sought "immediate strict action" on culprits in the Assam incidence.

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