On National Doctors’ Day, Indian Medical Association demands ‘zero tolerance towards violence against doctors and clinical establishments’. The IMA claimed that violence against doctors is a burning issue and a big challenge for the medical fraternity as well as healthcare structure. In order to safe-zone the medical fraternity, the association will observe a safe fraternity week from July 1-8. In view of rising cases of assault on doctors, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded the introduction of a “Clinical Establishment Act”, which will have a minimum of seven years imprisonment in healthcare violence.
“Anguish over the increased cost of delivering healthcare, which has grown exponentially over the last two decades, is being misdirected towards doctors,” said IMA national president Ravi Wankhedkar. Indian Medical Association (IMA) also announced the creation of a ‘violence registry’ to document every assault against medical personnel or establishments on Sunday, the National Doctors’ Day. While the IMA called the registry a desperate need of the hour, activists said redressing patients’ grievances effectively would have been a better approach.
Against all odds, like irregular working hours and the stressful environment, doctors still are delivering the best possible services, he said. Such violent practices have only created extremely stressful working conditions for doctors, affecting the quality of services and safety in healthcare. The ultimate sufferers are patients, which can be attributed to adoption of the practice of defensive medicine, noted a release issued by the IMA.
Adding that it was dismayed by the silence of civil society against ‘antisocial elements taking the law into their own hands to settle the score with clinical establishments, the association has demanded solutions to the current situation.
“We are committed to the safe, ethical and quality healthcare we impart… But at the same time, protecting doctors from unacceptable violence at clinical establishments and providing them a safe and fearless environment for medical practice tops our agenda,” said R.N. Tandon of the IMA.
“Though 19 States have adopted the Medicare Act, no conviction has happened so far despite numerous violent episodes. This does not inspire confidence…,” noted the IMA.
It said convictions should happen in special fast-track courts, and the Act should be strong enough to apply non-bailable offenses against the culprits, along with losses to the clinical establishment to be recovered from them. “The IMA also demands a minimum imprisonment of seven years for healthcare violence and treatment of cyber trolling on a par with it,” said Dr. Wankhedkar.
In the last one-year, there have been several cases of assault on doctors by irate family members of patients, following which many doctors, including those in the national capital, had taken to streets to bring strict provisions against the issue.