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IMA to hold nationwide protest on violence against doctors

Dehradun, 13 Jun: Indian Medical Association will observe a nationwide protest day on violence against doctors on 14 June. The organisation has moved into agitation mode following increasing incidence of violence against doctors and healthcare establishments.
In a recent incident in West Bengal, Dr Paribha Mukherjee, a young doctor, was brutally attacked by a violent mob at NRS Medical College, Kolkata. He is in critical condition and fighting for his life.
The Indian Medical Association has been demanding a National Law Against Hospital Violence. The organisation has declared a zero-tolerance policy against violence on doctors and healthcare establishments. The World Medical Association has also passed a resolution against violence on healthcare establishments and urged stronger legislation against this menace.
A National Law against violence on hospitals has to be brought in urgently, feels the IMA. The law should provide a minimum of seven years imprisonment for hospital violence. To ensure that the cases are registered, culprits are arrested and conviction is necessitated, appropriate mandatory provisions as provided in the POCSO act have to be instituted. Hospitals should be declared special zones and provision of appropriate security made the responsibility of the state.
It has been observed that the increase in violence will adversely affect public health at large. Not only the patients undergoing treatment in the institution facing violence will be directly affected, but also there are a lot of indirect consequences. Institutions will be reluctant to take up complicated and risky patients, which will affect public health at large. Threat of violence increases the stress levels of health care workers. Sound judgment regarding patient care will be compromised in such situations.
As part of the protest, all doctors in the country will wear black badges on 14 June.  Dharnas, protest meetings, etc., will be organised by the state units of IMA at respective state and district headquarters. An appeal for the central law against hospital violence will be e-mailed to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister by all the 2500 local branches of IMA. Medical students and junior doctors will also participate in the protest.
IMA in its statement has strongly condemned the brutal violence at NRS medical college and announced that the entire medical fraternity has expressed solidarity with the seriously injured doctors. IMA stated that the organisation is ready for an agitation to press for strong legislation and strict action against hospital violence.
Dr Baldev Singh Judge, State President, and Dr DD Choudhury, State Secretary, of the IMA UA State Branch have supported the initiative taken for the safety of the medical fraternity.