IMA condemns attack on doctors, nurses near JNU

Calling for more protection for doctors and nurses, the statement says: “IMA demands that the Union Home Ministry… ensure safety and security of doctors and nurses who reach out to the injured and wounded.”  

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday issued a strongly worded statement condemning the attack on doctors and nurses by unknown people on Sunday near the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) when injured students were being given first-aid. 

It said, “IMA condemns mindless violence on doctors and nurses who rushed to treat the injured in JNU”. It added: “If doctors and nurses are not safe in the capital of the country, it speaks volumes about the governance and lack of it. Time has come for the medical fraternity to devise its own arrangements for defence. How does that reflect on the nation, if it cannot protect its doctors and nurses reaching to the injured? Is this a civil war? What is the message that goes pout to the world?”

The IMA called for more protection for doctors and nurses. “IMA demands that the Union Home Ministry… ensure safety and security of doctors and nurses who reach out to the injured and wounded”, the statement said.

On Sunday, national president of the Progressive Medicos & Scientists Forum (PMSF) Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti tweeted, “Our team of doctors, nurses & medical volunteers who reached JNU to give first aid to injured students & teachers was attacked by hundreds of goons. Mob manhandled doctors, nurses & threatened them. Our ambulance’s glass and windows broken…”

Doctors of the PMSF have for many weeks been attending to people injured in the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests across Delhi. On earlier occasions, doctors were prevented from providing first-aid to those injured in anti-CAA protest clashes.

On December 22, 2019, the IMA issued a statement condemning the police action of barging into a hospital in Mangaluru, charging at people injured in protests against the CAA and trying to force open the door of many wards. The police had also lobbed a tear gas inside the hospital close to the intensive care unit. Use of tear gas in confined spaces is prohibited as per international norms and standards.

Protection for medical staff

The latest IMA statement also mentions about the Union Home Ministry’s decision to block the Bill against violence on doctors and hospitals. After a series of attacks on doctors by the public, the Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019, seeking to punish those who assault doctors and other healthcare professionals on duty, was drafted. The Bill, which proposed a jail term of up to 10 years, was dismissed by the Home Ministry during an inter-ministerial consultation over the draft law. The Law Ministry had approved it.

The Home Ministry opposed the Bill on the grounds that there could not be separate law to protect members of a particular profession. It maintained that there should be no specific law for a particular profession, and the IPC and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were sufficient to deal with it.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 4:45:42 PM |

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