The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors and other medical associations have welcomed the HC’s decision to invoke the Doctors Protection Act, 2010, against the policemen who assaulted Dr Prashant Patil, a resident doctor, in Solapur on Tuesday.
Dr Shivkumar Utture, office-bearer of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “It is shameful that policemen are taking the law into their own hands. The Act was instituted to protect hospitals as institutions and the rights of doctors and paramedics falling prey to the angst of relatives, political party workers or local social workers who ransack wards in the event of an ailing relative’s death.”
“It is sad that policemen themselves are not aware of the Act. The IMA, Maharashtra, has written to the police commissioner of Mumbai and requested that a copy of the Act be circulated to all police stations. In the last three years, the Act has been implemented only thrice,” he added.
The Act is called the Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage of Property) Act, 2010. As per this, anyone attacking a doctor will be fined Rs50,000 and be jailed for up to three years. Hence, any attack against a doctor is considered a non-bailable offence.
Maharashtra State Medical Teacher Association president Dr Nagsen Ramraje said, “This is a historical decision for the fraternity. If someone has a complaint against a doctor, s/he can contact the appropriate authority and get the issue resolved.”