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Soon, central law to prevent attacks on doctors

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With growing incidences of patients’ relatives or attendants violently attacking doctors holding them directly responsible for ‘negligence’, the government may soon come up with a law to provide protection to medical practitioners across the country.

According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), over 75 per cent of members associated with it have reported to have been attacked by kin of patients at least once in their lifetime.

The Government of India established an inter-ministerial committee in 2015 to examine such cases and come up with measures to ensure safety of medical professionals.

The government panel has recommended that the health ministry needs to enact a law to deal with such issues. Although 18 states have already put in place such laws, the central law is expected to have more provisions to efficiently implement the existing laws.

The primary reasons for violence against hospital authorities include request of advance payments, withholding a deceased body until settlement of final billing, unnecessary investigations or delay in attending to a patient, according to an IMA survey.

Maximum cases of violence are reported in hospitals’ emergency department and ICU, the study pointed out.

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