NEW DELHI: Taking a dim view of abusive behaviour towards healthcare professionals amid the nationwide lockdown, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for observance of a 'White Day' on Wednesday and a nationwide 'Black Day' protest on Thursday.
The IMA wrote a letter on Monday to all its current and past office-bearers to issue directions to different hospitals and health workers to light candles on hospital premises as a symbol of protest and vigil on Wednesday.
"Let not our white become red," the IMA warned, and demanded enactment of a central law through an ordinance for the protection of healthcare professionals and guarantee for a safe workplace.
"If the government fails to enact a central law on violence against doctors and hospitals even after a white alert, the IMA will observe a 'Black Day' on Thursday," it said.
The association said that all doctors in the country will sport black badges on Thursday as a mark of protest.
"A decision on the further course of action will be taken if suitable steps are not taken by the government even after 'Black Day'. The 'White Alert' is only a warning," said the association.
The IMA said that it had so far observed the utmost restraint and patience in spite of extreme provocations. "Doctors have been abused, beaten up, denied entry to their residences. Obstruction in cremation is the last straw that the IMA can bear," Dr Rajan Sharma, IMA President, said in the letter.
"If dignity is denied even in death, our patience and restraint lose their value. We demand a special central law against violence against doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and hospitals through an ordinance," Dr RV Asokan, Honorary Secretary-General of the IMA, added.