New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday condemned attacks on doctors across the country and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to ensure that medical professionals are allowed to work without fear.
In an open letter written to Modi, the IMA touched on five key concerns of IMA revolving around attacks on doctors and the spread of misinformation against modern medicine and vaccination by certain people with vested interests.
The association made a strong case against the promotion of “magic remedies” or “wonder drugs” with a lack of approval from the Ministry of Health.
“Any person(s) who spreads misinformation against the vaccination drive which is meant to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, must be booked and punished in accordance with law including under the relevant provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” the IMA said.
Highlighting the recent spurt of violence against medicare professionals, IMA pointed out the case of doctor Jayprakash of Athena Hospital, Karnataka, who was assaulted by a group of people over a pregnant patient and of Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati, who was on COVID-19 duty in Assam, was accused of a patient’s death and assaulted by a mob, raising furore among doctors all over the country.
In another case, a doctor going home for lunch was waylaid and brutally attacked over the death of a 6-year-old dengue patient in Karnataka.
Taking note of these incidents, the IMA demanded the promulgation of the Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishments Bill, 2019, which was dismissed by the Home Ministry. The bill seeks to impose a jail term of up to 10 years for people who assault on-duty healthcare professionals.
The letter acknowledges the 1400 or more frontline workers who lost their lives treating COVID-19 patients. In an effort to provide solace to the bereaved members of their family, IMA asked PM Modi to recognise those doctors as COVID Martyrs, and also properly implement the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana which gives insurance benefits to their family.
With the rise in post-COVID complications and the declaration of Mucormycosis or “black fungus” as an epidemic, IMA expressed its concerns regarding the unavailability of relevant drugs. “We appeal to you to set up a separate research cell to study these post-COVID-19 complications in detail and to come out with multi-faceted treatment guidelines in all disciplines of Medicine,” the open letter said.
Regarding vaccines, IMA said it “believes that vaccination is the only weapon to promote and empower our country to get over the pandemic and to protect our vulnerable population… Hence, the Government should promote universal free vaccination to all above 18 years of age without leaving the vaccines to the extent of 50% to the states and private hospitals.”
The letter was signed by the National President of IMA, Dr J A Jayalal and Dr Jayesh M Lele, honorary secretary general.
In a recent development, the 3000 junior doctors in Madhya Pradesh ended their week-long strike today. Their demands included a stipend hike of 24 per cent and reserved beds for junior doctors in case they contract the disease. They ended their protest indefinitely, agreeing to the 17 per cent hike offered by the government.
Telangana faced a similar situation when junior doctors across the state went on strike for a 15 per cent pay hike on May 26. Two days later, they withdrew the strike with formal orders from the government, ensuring the requested hike.
Source :- Sisat