Doctors Demand Urgent Legislation After Violent Attacks; Pune IMA Seeks Government Intervention

Share this News:

Pune, 24th November 2023: In the wake of increasing incidents of violence against doctors and hospital vandalism, the Pune branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to the Health Minister and Health Secretary, urging immediate legislative action to protect medical professionals. The demand comes after the brutal murder of Dr. Vandana Das in a Kerala hospital on May 10, prompting the Kerala government to swiftly pass an ordinance on May 17, enhancing legal provisions for doctors’ safety.

Doctors are expressing concern that a new law may only be enacted in Maharashtra after the tragic murder of a doctor, emphasizing the need for proactive measures. Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta criticized the Maharashtra government, stating that doctors cannot be expected to perform surgery with trembling hands due to the fear of violence. The demand for a new law to protect doctors was presented to the Bombay High Court on July 13, 2021. Despite this, the government has yet to amend existing laws, resulting in minimal convictions, with only five out of 1,318 attackers being punished in five years.

The IMA’s letter highlights the challenges faced by doctors, particularly in government hospitals, where increasing incidents of violence are deterring emergency patients from seeking timely treatment. Patients, fearing potential attacks, often shift from private hospitals to government facilities, impacting their chances of survival. The IMA urges the government to take swift action, emphasizing that without adequate protection, incidents like those in Thane and Nanded may recur. The medical community calls for urgent attention to ensure the safety and security of doctors in the line of duty.

Dr. Raju Varyani, President of IMA Pune, expressed, “Recently, 1,400 seats in medical colleges have remained vacant, and there are also numerous vacancies in postgraduate courses. Many parents are advising their children to pursue professions other than the medical field due to the increasing violence from relatives of patients.”