Thiruvananthapuram: The government has agreed to amend the law that protects medical workers and institutions following strong protests by the medical fraternity. The doctors went on strike following the brutal killing of house surgeon, Dr. Vandana Das, by an accused in police custody while he was being treated for wounds.
The punishment for attacking medical workers and institution will be raised to five years. A high level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary has decided to prepare a draft ordinance in this regard.
The amendments to the law will consider the suggestions given by various doctors’ organizations. There is a criticism that the existing law is not stringent enough to prevent such crimes. The law department has been assigned for making the required amendments. The amendments will be made to the four subsections in the 14th section of the law.
Currently, health workers include doctors, nurses, medical-nursing students, and paramedical workers. In the new law, the ministerial employees, security officers and all employees of the hospital will get protection.
The draft will be submitted at the Cabinet meeting in the coming week after a discussion between law and health departments. According to the present law, the maximum punishment for attacking a hospital is Rs.50,000 fine and three years imprisonment.