The Bill to Protect Doctors from Violence has been Put on Hold with Home Ministry Objections.

Healthwire Bureau

New Delhi,January 25:In September last year, the union health ministry had posted a draft bill, The Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill 2019 on their website for public opinion on the bill.

In the wake of rising attacks on doctors while treating the patients, in June last year the resident doctors across the country had gone on strike demanding protection for themselves.

Later on the health ministry formed a committee comprising of representatives from Medical Council of India, Indian Medication Association (IMA), AIIMS Resident Doctor’s Association and Bureau of Police Research and Development and entrusted them to form a comprehensive bill with strong provisions to protect the doctors.

The Bill had some stringent provisions to protect healthcare service personnel including doctors, nurses, para medical workers, medical students, ambulance drivers among others.  It also prohibited any damage caused to hospitals, clinics, and ambulances.

The draft bill had provision of imprisonment from three to 10 years and fine between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for anyone who seriously injures a doctor on duty. Along with that provisions for recovery of damaged property to the tune of twice the value of the property were also mentioned in the bill.

Any bill before coming to the parliament goes through several ministries for inter-ministerial consultations and suggestions. This draft bill was given a go ahead by the law ministry and the government was planning to present it before the parliament in the winter session which concluded on December 13 last year.

However the home ministry has red flagged it and now it looks that the government is likely to put it on hold.
The argument presented by the home ministry is that the existing laws under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) are enough to deal with any case of violence. As per sources, home ministry also put forward the argument that if a separate law is being made for any particular profession then it would lead to demand for several such laws from different professions such as lawyers, teachers, police and others.

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