A day after pan-India protests by doctors, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday has written a letter to Chief Ministers of all the states demanding tough action against any person who attacks the doctors henceforth.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it is asserted that Dr Harsh Vardhan has stressed on the need for avoiding incidents such as the agitation raised by resident doctors on Friday, adding that 'law enforcement should prevail so that doctors and clinical establishments discharge their duties and professional pursuit without fear of any violence.
“Strict action against any person who assaults them, must be ensured by the law enforcement agencies,” he emphasized in the letter to the CMs.
With the medium of his letter to the States, the Union Health Minister has further reminded the Chief Ministers and requested them to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals.
He has also forwarded the Draft Act provided by IMA i.e. the Protection of Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property) Act, 2017 to the States to inform them about the same.
“Our doctors rank among the best in the world and work for long hours under stressful conditions, grappling with a huge load of patients. It is the duty of State to ensure safety and security of doctors who assure that the healthcare needs of the society are met." he also added
After two doctors were attacked at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital (NRSMCH) on June 11, doctors in Kolkata launched a pan-India strike, demanding the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to intervene and provide necessary security to them.
On Friday, almost 300 doctors resigned from government hospitals in West Bengal. Several junior doctors in several states boycotted work.
On Saturday, Resident doctors at AIIMS, New Delhi, have issued an ultimatum to the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal govt, threatening to launch an indefinite stir if the government failed to meet the demands of medical practitioners in the state within 48 hours.