Doctors in Delhi protest over violence against healthcare professionals
New Delhi, June 18: Several doctors on Friday protested here as part of a nationwide stir called by the IMA over recent incidents of violence against healthcare professionals, and to demand a central law to curb such cases.
In Delhi, a group of doctors, belonging to both IMA (Indian Medical Association) and FAIMA (Federation of All India Medical Association) wearing lab coats, began the demonstration by holding up placards outside AIIMS main gate, to raise their voice on the issue.
FAIMA founder Manish Jangra shared with reporters that AIIMS RDA was not part of the protest, but members of IMA and FAIMA led the protest, adding that "later a protest was held outside RML Hospital too, near the hostel".
MBBS students of Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital, among others, also took part in it, he said, adding that patient care services were not affected and OPDs remained functional. FAIMA lodges its strong protest against the "recent incidents of violence" against doctors, he said.
The call for the nationwide protest was issued by the IMA, which on Thursday had said that around 3.5 lakh doctors of the association would participate in it. "All across the country, in every state in different hospitals, doctors and healthcare professionals wore black badges and ribbons and black shirts and raised slogan 'Save the Saviours', and uploaded their photographs on social media on Friday, as part of the protest," the IMA said in a statement.
All doctors, individually and as a group, took part with proper Covid protocols, it said. The medical professionals from other specialty organisations like ASI, API, FOGSI, among others, also joined the protest, the IMA said.
In Delhi, the ptotest was organided by doctors, junior doctors and medical students at 10 different places, including AIIMS, it said.
The Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishment (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019, which sought to impose a jail term up to 10 years for assaulting on-duty doctors and other healthcare professionals, was dismissed by the Home Ministry saying the special law was not feasible as health is a state subject, the IMA had said on Thursday.
"There are many central health laws such as the PCPNDT Act and the Clinical Establishment Act. Currently, 21 states have local laws, but what we need is a strong central law to protect doctors from violence," the doctors' body had said.
Cases of violence against doctors and other healthcare workers have been reported lately from some parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, among other places.
On June 1, a doctor at a medical facility in Hojai in Assam was allegedly assaulted by the attendants, following the death of a patient suffering from COVID and pneumonia at Udali Model Hospital.
The National Human Rights Commission had later taken cognisance of the case and asked the Assam government and the state police chief to inquire into the alleged assault and take "needful, preventive and punitive action" in the case.