JANUARY 3, 2017
The ever-increasing cases of violence against doctors by relatives or attendants of patients has finally prompted the government to mull over drafting a central law which will ensure the protection of the caregivers.
More than 75% of doctors in India are reported to have faced violence in one form or the other as per as estimate by the Indian Medical Association. In fact, back in 2015 the government had instituted an inter-ministerial committee following complaints from the medical fraternity. The committee was set up to look into such issues and evaluate ways by which the safety of the caregivers’ lives can be ensured.
Making offenses non-bailable, more responsibility on hospital authorities to ensure doctors’ safety contemplated
The panel has recommended that the health ministry should initiate the process to bring about a central act to tackle the problem. It’s said that the proposed law could have stringent provisions such as making an act of violence against a doctor, medical professional or a hospital authority a non-bailable offence.
Such laws are already in place in about 18 states across the country. But the lack of an efficient implementation of the laws have seen doctors facing the anger of disgruntled kin of patients. In fact, the committee has recommended the health ministry to frame the central act in line with the laws that exist in various Indian states.
Earlier, the IMA had conducted a nationwide survey which revealed that doctors face the maximum violence when they provide emergency services. As much as 48.8% incidents of attacks were reported from intensive care units or after a patient underwent surgery. The most common reasons cited for such violence include ‘unnecessary’ investigations or delay in attending to a patient.
As for the acts of violence against hospital authorities, these are usually triggered by request of advance payments or withholding a dead body until the final bill is settled. Data shows that 68.33% of the violence was committed by the escorts of patients.
The proposed law may also see the hospital authorities bearing more responsibilities to ensure the safety and security of doctors as well as the paramedical staff.
Courtesy: Daily Rounds
Link – https://www.dailyrounds.org/blog/central-law-to-come-up-for-violence-against-doctors-by-patients-kin/