IMA demands law on violence against healthcare workers

Asks medics to light candles tonight as part of ‘white alert’, observe April 23 as black day

April 21, 2020 11:11 pm | Updated 11:11 pm IST - HYDERABAD

IMA-Telangana has asked all doctors and medical staff to attend duty wearing black badges.

IMA-Telangana has asked all doctors and medical staff to attend duty wearing black badges.

Marking its protest against attacks on healthcare professionals, Indian Medical Association (IMA)-Telangana called on all doctors, hospital and clinics managements to hold candle light programme titled ‘White alert to the nation’ on Wednesday night.

IMA members have demanded a special Central law against violence on doctors, nurses, health care workers and hospitals by an ordinance, and implement it on priority basis.

While there have been numerous attacks on healthcare workers, including on doctors in Telangana, the recent incident in Chennai, where over 20 people opposed burial of a neurosurgeon, who was infected with COVID-19, was the tipping point. The neurosurgeon, Simon Hercules, died on Sunday night.

In Telangana, junior doctors at Gandhi Hospital and Osmania General Hospital were attacked while attending COVID-19 duties.

IMA-Telangana members said frontline workers who have risked their life and in turn lost their lives treating patients, have been subjected to inhuman behaviour. They said that if the Central law in not enacted, Thursday would be observed as ‘black day’. All doctors and medical staff were asked to work wearing black badges. “Further decision will be taken if suitable steps are not taken by the government even after black day,” the IMA members said.

Meanwhile, the Association of Surgeons of India has also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a Central law on violence against healthcare professionals by promulgating an ordinance. Association president P. Raghuram, in a letter to the Mr. Modi, raised serious concerns about the series of acts of violence, abuse and vigilantism against medical professionals.

Citing the case of Simon Hercules, Dr. Raghuram said it was a new low “we as a nation reached”.

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