Attacks on doctors, hospitals may attract 10-year jail term

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 03, 2019

Representative image   -  PTI

Health Ministry plans Bill to protect healthcare professionals, establishments

A spate of brutal attacks against doctors has prompted the Union Health Ministry to float a law for the protection of healthcare professionals. "The Ministry has proposed to formulate a legislation to address the issue of violence against the healthcare service professionals and damage to property of clinical establishments. A draft legislation titled - 'The Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of violence and damage to property) Bill, 2019 has been prepared," a note released by the Health Ministry stated.

The draft bill proposes to make acts of violence against healthcare professionals a cognizable and a non-bailable offence. It also seeks to provide compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel - namely nurse, midwife, doctors, medical students, ambulance drivers and helpers or for causing damage or loss to property of a clinical establishment - namely a hospital, a clinic, a dispensary, a sanatorium, an ambulance or even a mobile unit.

The draft bill proposes imprisonment of between six months to three years, with a fine of between Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh for whoever commits violence or abets violence. If the accused is convicted for causing grievous hurt, then the imprisonment shall be between three years to ten years and with a fine between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. If a convicted person does not pay the compensation then the sum shall be recovered as an arrear of land revenue under the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890.

If an aggrieved person healthcare service personnel gives a written complaint against an attack, the owner of the clinical establishment will have to inform the officer in-charge of the concerned police station to file a first information report.

The draft bill also stated that in addition to the punishment, the convicted person shall also have to pay an amount, twice the amount of fair market value of damaged property or loss caused, as determined by the court.

As the draft has been placed in public domain for comments, a 73-year-old doctor in Assam was allegedly lynched to death in a tea garden and died on Monday.

"It has been decided to solicit objections and suggestions from public with regard to the draft before finalisation of the bill. These can be forwarded within 30 days from issue of the notice," said the note.

Published on September 03, 2019

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