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Attack against doctors: Draft Bill in public domain, proposes upto 10-yrs jail

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In a bid to discourage rising incidents of violence against doctors, the Government has come up with a Bill which could land offenders to jail.

As per reports, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has released a Draft Bill – Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of violence and damage to property) Bill, 2019 proposing a law which will have provisions of upto 10 years of jail and Rs 10 lakh fine for anyone who are found guilty for unleashing attack against on-duty doctors and other healthcare professionals.

The Ministry has invited public comments within 30 days.

“Whoever, while committing violence as referred to in sub-section (1), causes grievous hurt as defined in section 320 of the Indian Penal Code to any healthcare service personnel, shall, upon conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to ten years, and with fine, which shall not be less than two lakh rupees, but which may extend to ten lakh rupees,” the draft bill linked to the Indian Penal Code states.

Earlier, the union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan termed attacks on doctors a serious issue adding that a central law required to put an end to this disturbing trend.

“We have already consulted some stakeholders and now the ministry is working on giving final contours to the draft Bill,” Vardhan was quoted as saying. The Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the upcoming winter session, said Minister.

The Government is taking cognizance of increasing incidents of violence against doctors and health professionals across country including recent case in Assam where a senior doctor Deben Dutta was thrashed to death. Few days back in Delhi’s Safdurjung Hospital a family of a patient, who died during course of treatment assaulted residents doctors. Later doctors went for a strike, affecting major medical services.

Earlier in June, the Centre formed a 10-member inter-ministerial committee after a junior doctor was assaulted in West Bengal leading to country-wide protests by doctors community.

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