NEW DELHI: The Epidemic Diseases Amendment Bill, 2020 is an attempt to encroach states' constitutionally assigned functioning, said Trinamool Congress (TMC), MP Derek O'Brien, on Saturday.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha while the discussions on the bill were underway, the TMC MP said that Bengal already has laws to deal with the prevention of violence against doctors and healthcare workers.
"You thought of healthcare workers now? Bengal has Medicare Service Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property Act 2009. What happens to it? Bill is an attempt to encroach states' constitutionally assigned functioning," O'Brien said.
The TMC leader said that his state had passed the bill for healthcare workers' safety as far back as in 2009.
"You cannot cross the Constitutional bar, you do your work, and let the Chief Ministers do their work. There are sinister provisions also present in this bill," he further added.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had moved the bill to be taken up for consideration in the Upper House.
"In the year 2020, there has been an extraordinary situation around the world and also in the country. Many healthcare workers including doctors, paramedics were insulted in some form or the other, due to the stigma attached to COVID-19. Centre government acted on this situation and found that there was a need for a law, a prohibitory mechanism against such incident," Dr Harsh Vardhan had said in the Rajya Sabha.