Will come back to the question of the development of a central law to protect doctors: the Minister of Health of the Union, Harsh Vardhan

Amid protests from the medical fraternity across the country over violence against doctors in hospitals, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday that the government would “reconsider” the issue of drafting ‘a central law concerning the safety of doctors in health establishments.

Vardhan said he has already written to all states asking chief ministers to consider enacting specific legislation to protect doctors and healthcare professionals from all forms of violence, while suggesting a proposed model law. by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

“We will review this problem and see if we can do something centrally to draft such a law. It was visited earlier by our lawyers,” he told reporters outside parliament.

The Union Minister further stated that this was not a Center versus State issue, while stressing that the safety of doctors was not in question.

“Doctors should not be beaten by anyone inside or outside the hospital and there is no difference of opinion on this matter,” he said.

When asked if a proposal on drafting a central law in this regard could be presented during this parliamentary session, Vardhan said: “It is not something that can be done overnight. “Obviously it will take time to study. I have to get old files. This issue was raised in 2017 as well and deliberations took place.”

“So for me to say something that I can do something in a few days will be a big statement, but our intentions are right and our goal is that incidents like this never happen again in this country.”

Vardhan wrote to all chief ministers on Saturday and attached a copy of the IMA Bill, the Protection of Persons and Medical Service Establishments (Prevention of Violence and Damage or loss of property). It has also drawn the attention of all states and union territories for strict action against anyone who assaults doctors.

He cited a letter dated July 7, 2017, sent by the Union Ministry of Health to all chief state secretaries, which contains the decision taken by an inter-ministerial committee formed by the ministry to consider the issues raised by the IMA.

The committee, in its report, recommended that the Department of Health suggest that all state governments that do not have specific legislation to protect physicians and health professionals consider one to strictly enforce the provisions. special legislation where they exist or enforce the IPC / CrPC provisions with force.

“The IMA has raised this concern on several occasions. Since “police” and “public order” are matters of state, the Government of India has repeatedly drawn the attention of state governments to the urgent need for a criminal justice system. strong focus on crime prevention and control, ”Vardhan said.

Protection of Persons and Medical Service Establishments (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property) Bill 2017 circulated to states includes clauses on penalties and recovery for loss / damage materials.

Dozens of medics across the country staged protests and boycotted works to support their fellow West Bengal strikers and demanded a comprehensive central law for their protection.

The IMA had also written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to demand the enactment of a central law to combat violence against healthcare workers in hospitals. The apex doctors’ organization called a nationwide strike on June 17 with the withdrawal of non-essential health services.

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