Committee to Assess Law to Protect Doctors
A committee has been constituted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to assess various aspects of bringing out a Central law against attack on-duty doctors and medical establishments.
The committee comprises of medical superintendents of AIIMS, RML Hospital, representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Medical Council of India, Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), Indian Medical Association (IMA), etc.
Draft Law by IMA
The IMA has already submitted the draft Protection of Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property) Act, 2017 to the Ministry of Health and Family welfare. The salient features of the draft law are:
- Ten-year jail term and a fine of Rs 5-lakh for violence against doctors.
- It recognizes 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.
- It makes the case of violence against doctors as cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and fit for trial by a court of the Judicial Magistrate of First Class.
- The offender in case of any property damage has to pay twice the price of the damaged property as compensation.
Since health is a state subject, the central government was of the view that it can frame such a law only if some states write to the Centre for such an Act. With the formation of the committee, the government has opened doors for discussion on matters of violence against doctors.
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