IMA calls off planned protest after Amit Shah assures security to doctors, medical staff

22 April, 2020 | newsx bureau

National

Indian Medical Association (IMA) secretary, Dr Ravi Malik told media that planned protest against attacks on doctors, medical staff has been canceled as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Health Ministe...

After Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s assurance to the doctors that their security will be taken care of, several doctors have lauded the efforts by the Central Government.

“The recent attacks on medical practitioners is shameful, however, something good has come out of it. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Home Minister Amit Shah have assured us that special security arrangements will be done for the doctors,” Dr Ravi Malik, former Secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA), told ANI.

“I want to tell the government that we, doctors, are not scared of such attacks and we will continue our work amid this crisis,” he said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Dr BB Wadhwa, Delhi Medical Association (DMA) president, said, “Though we feel disturbed due to the attacks, the doctors have not backed out from their duty. We want some laws which will put a stop on such attacks on doctors as we can not work if we are always scared.”

He further said, “I appreciate Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for arresting 17 miscreants under the National Security Act. We want other states to do the same to prevent attacks like in Moradabad, Delhi and Indore.”

While lauding PM Modi’s acknowledgement of work being done by medical staff amid the coronavirus outbreak, Dr Harish Gupta, Delhi Medical Council member and former president of DMA, said, “Though the frequent attacks on doctors have a very demoralising effect on the medical fraternity, we have continued our work without taking a day off since the coronavirus outbreak. And we will continue to do so because we have always said — Jeet jayenge hum agar pura desh sangh hai (We will win if the country is with us).”

“However, we do demand legal impunity for our safety,” he added.

Earlier today, Amit Shah, in an interaction with the IMA doctors through video conferencing, appreciated their good work and assured them security and appealed to them not to hold a symbolic protest on April 23 as proposed by them.

The IMA had earlier announced that it will observe April 23 as Black Day if the government fails to enact Central Law on violence against doctors and hospitals.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today announced an ordinance to end violence against health workers, which carries jail term ranging from six months to 7 years as punishment for those found guilty.

He further said that an amendment will be made to Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Ordinance will be implemented. “Such crime will now be cognizable and non-bailable. The investigation will be done within 30 days. Accused can be sentenced from 3 months-5 years and penalised from Rs 50,000 upto Rs 2 Lakh,” he added.

This comes after several incidents of attacks and stigmatisation of medical staff and doctors being reported from across the country following the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.