Draft law to Prevent Violence against Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions
The draft Protection of Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property) bill, 2017 submitted by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to the Ministry of Health and Family welfare encompasses the following provisions:
- It proposes a ten-year jail term and a fine of Rs 5-lakh for violence against doctors.
- The draft bill categorizes both mental and physical abuse as violence against doctors and covers not just hospitals but also an area within a radius of 50 metres around them along with home visits.
- The bill recognizes violence against doctors as cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and fit for trial by a court of the Judicial Magistrate of First Class.
- The draft bill also provides that the offender in case of any property damage will have to pay twice the price of the damaged property as compensation.
The central government is maintaining that since health is a state subject, the centre can frame such a law only if some states write to the Centre for such an Act. The central government is also of the view that even though there are enough provisions in the IPC to tackle the situation, doctors need a special provision in public interest because if one doctor is assaulted, several hundred patients suffer as he/she goes off duty.