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'Committed To Protecting Those Protecting India': Amit Shah On Ordinance For Doctors

Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the ordinance brought by the govt will go a long way in assuring the 'safety and dignity' of the healthcare workers

Amit Shah

Soon after the Centre announced an ordinance to protect medical personnel from the rising incidents of violence and discrimination against them, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the ordinance will go a long way in assuring the 'safety and dignity' of the healthcare workers. Taking to Twitter, the Home Minister assured that the government is committed to protecting those who are protecting India during these challenging times. 

As per the ordinance, the government will amend the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, and assaults on healthcare workers will be considered as cognizable and non-bailable offence whose probe will need to be done within 30 days under the supervision of a senior inspector. The judicial process and the verdict would also arrive within a year.

READ | Centre Brings Ordinance To End Violence Against Health Workers, Details Jail Terms

Earlier in the day, Indian Medical Association (IMA) President Dr Rajan Sharma lauded the ordinance and welcomed it heartily after the association called off their symbolic 'Black Day' protest. Dr.Rajan Sharma remarked, "I heartily welcome this ordinance. On behalf of every doctor and IMA member, I would like to thank the honourable Prime Minister, the honourable Home Minister and the honourable Health Minister who have done what they had promised us in the morning. In such a short span of time, it has been implemented what has been pending for so long."

READ | IMA Prez Lauds Ordinance To Protect Healthcare Workers, Thanks Govt For Fulfilling Demand

Ordinance for protection of healthcare workers

Addressing a press briefing earlier in the day, Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the Union Cabinet had approved an ordinance to protect the health workers. Basically, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 has been amended to make an attack on health workers a cognisable and non-bailable offence. The investigation in such cases has to be completed within 30 days and the verdict will have to be delivered within one year. Assault on health workers will attract a penalty of Rs.50,000 to 2 lakh and a jail term of 3 months to 5 years. 

READ | Ordinance Will Facilitate Punishment Under The Law: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

If it is a serious injury, an enhanced penalty in the form of Rs.1 to 5 lakh and a jail term ranging from 6 months to 7 years will apply. Moreover, twice the cost of the damaged property of healthcare workers will be recovered from the guilty. Javadekar also revealed that a decision had been taken by the Cabinet whereby non-COVID patients can be freely treated even in non-panelled or COVID hospitals under the Ayushmann Bharat Yojana. 

READ | Coronavirus Live Updates: Centre To Pass Ordinance To Protect COVID Warriors; Cases- 19984

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