NEW DELHI: In view of the increasing violence against healthcare workers, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking to strengthen the anti-violence act until the central law is enacted.
Despite the selfless sacrifice of the doctor community amid the coronavirus outbreak, the continuing physical, verbal and social media violence still remains a complex issue, the IMA said in a statement.
"Violence in our hospitals is a matter of great concern. Equating violence in common parlance with doctors and nurses getting beaten up in a gruesome manner is injustice," Dr Rajan Sharma, the national president of IMA, said.
"The medical fraternity expects our national government to begin this process by enacting a central law against violence on doctors and hospitals. We kindly request you to initiate action in this regard," he said.
The IMA, in the letter, said the rectification can only start with deterrence.
Central guidance to states to incorporate the amendments to the Epidemic Diseases Act into their Hospital Protection/ anti-violence Acts will also strengthen these Acts, till the central law is enacted.
Behavioural aberrations of a consumerist society, inappropriate expectations, ignorance of limitations, infrastructural and Human Resources constraints, inadequate support systems to defray the cost of treatment, absence of structured communication and counselling logistics, etc. contribute to the civilisational degeneration called violence on doctors and hospitals, the doctors' body said.
"A comprehensive solution to the violence on doctors and hospitals needs to address the security level in our hospitals. These arrangements should be on par with our airports. It will not be out of place to point out that a central deterrent law is in place for the prevention of violence against airline personnel," it said.
"A much larger perspective will include sufficient investment in Public Health infrastructure and Human Resources. A state-sponsored mechanism to purchase care from private hospitals for all citizens is also in order," Dr RV Asokan, secretary-general, the IMA said.
The doctors' body also expressed relief and happiness for Shah resuming his routine work and wished him good health.
It also thanked him for the expeditious enactment of amendments to the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 to prevent violence against doctors, hospitals and healthcare workers, and also acknowledged his efforts to obtain parliamentary approval for the same in the monsoon session.