The shocking attack and assault of a senior consultant doctor in Assam which led to his death has left the medical community outraged. Taking note of the issue, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has proposed a new legislation to address the issue of violence faced by healthcare professionals and the damage to property of clinical establishments during such attacks.
73-year-old Dr Deben Dutta, was a retired from mainstream clinical practice and had been volunteering at a tea estate in Assam, providing basic healthcare services to the workers. On Saturday, he was dragged and beaten by workers at the estate after their colleague died in the estate hospital. According to reports, the doctor was also cut with pieces of glass by the attackers. The estate worker had been brought in a critical state to the hospital in the afternoon but succumbed shortly after being brought to the hospital.
The move to implement such a legislation to protect members of the medical community comes after doctors on several occasions went on an indefinite strike all over India as they were assaulted and attacked by family members of the attendants. In Delhi last week two resident doctors at Safdarjung Hospital were thrashed by attendants of a family member who had passed away at the hospital.
A legislation titled "The Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of violence and damage to property) Bill, 2019" has been prepared.
"It has been decided to solicit objections and suggestions from the public with regard to said draft legislation before the finalisation of the draft Bill," the ministry said.
The objections/suggestions may be forwarded within 30 days from the date of issue of this notice.
Doctors have also been increasingly taking to protests in light of the rising number of attacks against consultants while on duty. Earlier this year, doctors around the country stood in solidarity and took to shutting down non-emergency services in hospitals to protest against these attacks and demanded for security measures to be improved.
(With IANS inputs)