IMPF Calls for a Model Law to Curb Violence Against Doctors and Healthcare Workers

The Indian Medical Parliamentarians' Forum's appeal was prompted by the death of Dr. Vandana Das in Kerala.

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In the wake of a surge in violence against healthcare workers in India, the Indian Medical Parliamentarians’ Forum (IMPF) has called for a model law to protect doctors and other medical professionals from such heinous acts.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, the IMPF highlighted the increasing number of assaults on healthcare personnel, primarily within government hospitals. The letter was written by Dr. Lorho S. Pfoze and Dr DNV Senthilkumar, Members of Parliament and Joint Convenors of the IMPF.

The appeal was prompted by a shocking incident in Kerala’s Kollam district, where a young doctor, Dr. Vandana Das, was fatally stabbed by a patient she was treating at a government hospital. This incident has provoked widespread public outrage and heightened concerns within the medical community.

IMPF MPs’ letter pointed out that these attacks are not isolated events but part of a disturbing trend that has emerged over the past few months. They reminded the government that healthcare professionals are the frontline warriors who have been working tirelessly to protect the health and well-being of the country’s citizens, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

Despite previous appeals to the Union Health Ministry for a separate law to safeguard the safety and security of healthcare workers, no substantial steps have been taken. Dr. Pfoze and Dr Senthilkumar urged the government to reconsider this critical issue, stating that our collective responsibility is to protect those who have dedicated their lives to our protection.

The proposed law, as described in the letter, should not only prohibit any form of violence against healthcare professionals but also establish a framework for stringent penalties for offenders. It should provide guidelines for enhancing security within medical establishments and offer support mechanisms for victims of such violence.

Dr. Pfoze and Dr Senthilkumar expressed confidence in the government’s ability to enact this much-needed change, stating that a strong legal framework would ensure the safety of healthcare professionals, maintain the sanctity of medical establishments, and enhance the overall effectiveness of the healthcare system.

The IMPF now awaits the government’s response to their plea and hopes to collaborate to ensure a safe working environment for healthcare workers nationwide.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for declaring hospitals as ‘Safe Zones’ after Dr. Vandana Das, a young house surgeon at the Taluk Hospital in Kottarakkara, was brutally murdered on duty. The IMA also demands the implementation of central laws and preventative measures against violence directed towards healthcare professionals.

Dr. Vandana Das was tragically killed at approximately 4:30 am by the accused, Sandeep, a local school teacher. The incident has sparked outrage amongst the medical community and increased calls for better protection for medical professionals in their workplaces.

The IMA accused the Kerala Police of failing to ensure the safety of Dr. Das while she was on duty. In a strongly worded statement, the IMA condemned the “heinous murder” and emphasized the urgent need to classify hospitals as ‘Safe Zones’.

Further, the IMA urges implementing central laws to prevent violence against healthcare workers. They insist on stringent measures to ensure medical professionals can carry out their duties without fear of violence or threats.

Meanwhile, the accused, Sandeep, has been remanded and moved to Poojappura Jail. In response to the grave incident, the education department suspended him from his position as a UP School teacher. The case continues to unfold as the medical community and general public reel from this brutal crime.