Amid a rise in incidents of attacks on healthcare workers, the AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (RDA) has written to the Union Home Minister appealing for the implementation of the Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill.
In the letter, the doctors’ body has also highlighted the seven instances where doctors were assaulted while on duty for COVID-19.
On April 15, a team of doctors and medical staff were attacked by a mob in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad.
A female doctor was allegedly assaulted by patients on April 14 inside surgical ward at Delhi’s Lok Nayak hospital treating COVID-19 persons.
A doctor at Hyderabad’s Osmania Generala Hospital was allegedly attacked by a relative of a suspected Coronavirus patient in an isolation ward on April 14.
Two female resident doctors of Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital were allegedly assaulted on April 8 by a man, who accused them of “spreading” the virus.
Police allegedly thrashed two junior resident doctors of AIIMS, Bhopal with batons on April 8 as they were returning home after performing emergency duties.
SDM and police officer slapped and insulted a doctor in Government Medical College Bharatpur under RBM Hospital on April 11 and lastly, a Surat doctor was assaulted by neighbours for treating COVID-19 patients on April 6.
The letter said that despite advisory issued by the home ministry to ensure protection to doctors, multiple instances of violence have been happening across the country. It added that the need for such a bill was recognised by healthcare workers for long and was forwarded by the Ministry of Health by rejected by the Ministry of Home affairs.
The doctors have stated that they are not scared of infections as that of being assaulted and abused by the very people they treat and also termed the situation as an “emerging unforeseen occupational hazard”.
Appeal to Home Ministry to reconsider the Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property Bill as forwarded by Health Ministry. @AmitShahOffice @AmitShah @drharshvardhan @PMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA @adarshaiims @srinivasaiims @pawan_sinhmar @AjayMohanAIIMS @Amandeep_2040 pic.twitter.com/U3rXI39qFF
— RDAAIIMS (@AIIMSRDA) April 16, 2020
The attacks come even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Health Minister as well as Home Minister have repeatedly appealed to the people of the country to respect the corona warriors, who are at the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus.