Former Indian Medical Association (IMA) president Dr KK Aggarwal and former secretary Dr Ravi Malik lauded the Centre's move to bring in the ordinance for protection of healthcare workers, saying that this would help the healthcare workers feel empowered to work to their full potential.
"On Wednesday, we had a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. I was also a part of that meeting. Representatives of IMA interacted with the government. The government assured us that we will take care of the security of healthcare professionals, be it doctors, nurses or paramedical staff. Second, they also appreciated the work done by our medical community in the wake of this pandemic," Dr Malik told news agency ANI.
"The government was very clear that the security of doctors and nurses is non-negotiable. They have done certain works on this and they are now planning to do some more things. So, within six hours, the government came out with an Ordinance. This Ordinance is amazing," he added.
Earlier this week, Prakash Javadekar had 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 cognizable 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.
Dr KK Aggarwal, however, stated that finer points of the ordinance needed to be clarified stating that efforts should be taken to make this ordinance permanent. "Government should clarify that during the pandemic and post-pandemic till the surveillance is on, this is applicable in all establishments whether they are treating COVID-19 patient or not. Ideally, they should further amend to make it permanent because the fear of pandemic will always be there... To make it permanent is need of the day," he said.