Union Health Ministry came out with a draft bill on Monday to deal with the rising incidents of assault on doctors while they are at work. The draft bill came after a few days when a 73-year-old Doctor, Deben Dutta was killed in Assam tea estate.
He was attacked for not being present at the moment when a non-permanent tea-estate worker died in hospital. The workers had beaten up the resident doctor, Deben Dutta, blaming him for the death of one of their co-workers. He was taken to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital but he died. Medical associations all over the county have condemned the violence and alleged assault.
The draft bill has been named as Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019. It was made public for inviting suggestions and feedbacks.
One of the most prominent provisions of the drafted bill is that an assault on doctor on duty will attract a punishment of 10 years of imprisonment or a fine of Rs. 10 lakh. A Health Ministry official, as quoted by ANI, said “We want to reduce increasing cases of violence against doctors. We are looking for suggestions on the draft legislation before the bill is finalized. The objections or suggestions may be forwarded within 30 days. The maximum punishment will be 10 years imprisonment with Rs. 10 lakh fine.”
It has been observed that in almost all regions of the country, the assault on doctors is on the rise. Doctor’s associations have been demanding from the government to come with a protective law to guard them.
Now since the draft is here, it is likely that the bill, if passed, will help in protecting doctors and their associates in the hospitals.