Attacking a doctor lands you in jail for up to 10 years, Health Ministry draft bill says
Attempting violence against a doctor at work may lead you up to 10 years in prison or Rs 10 Lakhs of fine. While making its draft proposal public, Ministry of Health put forward this idea to protect the healthcare professional’s fraternity.
The development came after a series of assaults against doctors and medical practitioners in the past few months. Center was facing huge pressure from doctor fraternity in India and abroad. Recently, a 73 years old doctor was killed by a group of angry men in Assam.
The Health Ministry official said, “We want doctors in the country to feel safe by reducing cases of violence against them. We are seeking feedbacks from the public to make the bill more effective. Within 30 days, the suggestions will be forwarded.”
The Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill also makes any such delinquencies against medical professionals a non-bailable offense that will be under the jurisdiction of the court of law. According to the graft bill, a person may attract a fine of Rs 50,000 to 5 lakhs and/or imprisonment of 6 months to 3 years for committing or encouraging violence against doctors. The imprisonment will increase from 3 years to 10 years and with a fine of 2-10 lakhs in case the accused is grievously injured.
Nurses, midwives, medical students, ambulance drivers, and other healthcare service personnel will also be liable for compensation when a hospital, ambulance or clinic are damaged. The punishment shall be imposed on the accused as per Section 320 of the Indian Penal Code.
The World Medical Association has recently an open letter to PM Modi and Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan condemning the increasing reports of violence against doctors in India. They also sought an urgent reaction from the government of India.