NEW DELHI, July 10: The Union Health Ministry has formed a 10-member committee to examine the “pros and cons” of bringing a central legislation against assault on doctors on duty and violence in clinical establishments.
Last month, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had held a nationwide protest following an assault on doctors at the NRS Medical College in Kolkata and demanded the enactment of a central law to check violence on medical professionals in hospitals.
The committee was constituted on July 5 to examine the “pros and cons of bringing out a central legislation against assault on doctors on duty and clinical establishments”, the Health Ministry said.
The panel, comprising members from the Home Ministry and the Legal Affairs Department, is scheduled to meet in New Delhi on Wednesday.
It will also have representatives from the Medical Council of India and doctors’ associations, and medical superintendents of AIIMS and RML Hospital as members.
The IMA has welcomed the Centre’s move for a committee to discuss issues related to a Central Act for the security of doctors.
“IMA has won the first battle in its struggle against violence. The Union government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to go into the central legislation against the assault on doctors and hospitals. Congratulations to the entire medical fraternity,” the doctors’ body said in statement.
The IMA had launched a four-day nationwide protest last month following the Kolkata incident and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of a central law saying it should have a provision for a minimum of seven-year jail sentence to violators.
Following the incident, junior doctors went on a week-long agitation, disrupting health care services at all state-run hospitals in Kolkata.
Doctors at several other hospitals across the country also boycotted work, held marches and raised slogans to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in Kolkata.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had supported the demand for a central law and had said that such crimes should be made non-bailable.
He also had written to all states requesting chief ministers to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence, along with suggesting a model law proposed by the IMA. (PTI)