Kerala brings in ordinance to ensure protection for staff in health sector

Thiruvananthapuram, May 17 (IANS) The much delayed and keenly awaited law that takes care of all medical professionals against physical and verbal attacks, the Hospital Protection Act, on Wednesday was cleared by the cabinet as Ordinance.

The weekly cabinet meeting of the Pinarayi Vijayan government held here cleared the law and brought the Ordinance which will be sent to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

This has been a long-standing demand of the Indian Medical Association. The entire medical fraternity has been up in arms since last week following the gruesome murder of Dr Vandana Das, a 22-year-old house surgeon who was attacked while she was attending to a patient, an alleged drug addict.

From now on, those who indulge in physical attack on medical professionals, which include students and even security staff, while on duty, depending on the gravity of the crime, the accused will get a jail term from six months to even seven years.

In case of destruction of property in a medical institution, the accused will have to pay a fine extending up to six times the value of the property destroyed.

Veteran Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran welcomed the Ordinance. “For a while things need to be observed on how they are and then a discussion can be held among the stakeholders to see if it needs to be fine-tuned further to make it a foolproof system.”



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