Thiruvananthapuram: The ordinance of Hospital Protection Act will be considered in today’s cabinet meeting. The draft ordinance was made after careful discussions by the law, health and home department secretaries, which will be presented at the cabinet meeting after the approval of the law department and concerned ministers. After the cabinet approves the ordinance, it will be sent to the Governor. The ordinance will be enforced once the Governor signs it.
The Government is taking measures to double the maximum penalty of crimes against medical workers, depending on the severity of the offence the imprisonment can be from 6 months to 7 years. Yesterday, top officials met to finalise the provisions of the ordinance.
Abusing medical workers not only physically but also verbally will be taken as an offence. The ordinance will be enforced in all medical institutions including nursing colleges. The previous 2012 law stated a maximum of 3 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of ₹50,000.
The draft also specifies that the FIR should be registered in one hour after receiving complaints of abuse against any medical professionals. If any official fails to do so, necessary action will be taken against them. An officer of inspector rank should finish the investigation and report it within a month, and the trial should be concluded in a year. There are also considerations of forming special courts for this purpose.
The draft was formed after discussions involving various members from Indian Medical Association. They also proposed demands of making the maximum penalty to 10 years and considered adding cyber attacks against doctors in the law as well.