Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

IMA urges PM Modi to ensure doctors can ‘work without fear’

- Press Trust of India

NEW DELHI: In the wake of incidents of assault on doctors by relatives of patients, the Indian Medical Associatio­n (IMA) on Monday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interventi­on in ensuring “optimum milieu” for medical profession­als so that they can work without fear.

Underlinin­g the need for curbing the purposeful spread of misinforma­tion against modern medicine and Covid-19 vaccinatio­n by certain people with vested interests, the IMA has appealed to the prime minister to resolve their long pending pleas.

In a letter to Modi, the doctors’ body said persons spreading misinforma­tion against the Covid-19 vaccinatio­n drive must be booked and punished in accordance with law, including under relevant provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

“All such acts of omission and commission on behalf of any person raising doubts in the minds of the common public against the protocol guidance issued by the Ministry of Health for treatment of Covid-19 infected patients – ought to be suitable punished and simultaneo­usly, any attempt of any person to fool the gullible public and promote so-called ‘magic remedies’ or ‘wonder drugs’ without the approval of the Ministry of Health, Government of India – ought to be immediatel­y curtailed,” the IMA said in the letter.

“In the midst of this pandemic, we are also deeply hurt to see the increasing incidents of physical violence against the doctors and the health care profession­als in this country. The brutal assault on our young doctor in Assam and the assault on lady doctors and even on veteran practition­ers across the country - are really causing mental trauma amongst the practition­ers,” the letter stated.

“The Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishm­ents (Prohibitio­n of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019, which seeks to punish people who assault on-duty doctors and other healthcare profession­als by imposing a jail term of up to 10 years – which, apparently, was dismissed by the Home Ministry during an inter-ministeria­l consultati­on over the draft law, ought to be promulgate­d immediatel­y along with the incorporat­ion of provisions from the IPC/ CRPC and with stipulatio­ns for a fixed time schedule for speedy conclusion of trials,” it said.

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