Ordinance against attack on Doctors and Health Workers : During the current pandemic situation, doctors, health workers, and police are risking their lives to help the nation fight against the spread of corona virus. But several instances have been registered across the different parts of the country where they are purposely targeted and attacked. Thus, to safeguard the front line corona warriors, the central government of India has passed an Ordinance against attack on Doctors and Health Workers.
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What is the need to introduce ordinance against attack on Doctors and health workers
Since the outbreak and spread of corona, people are advised to stay at home and be safe. And to ensure their safety, doctors, and health workers are working day in and out. They are risking their lives, their families to serve the nation.
They cannot meet their kids, spouse, and parents. Even after serving for a specified duration, they have to be in self-quarantine. Many doctors have sacrificed their lives to save others from CoronaVirus.
But after all this sacrifice and hard work, cases of attack against doctors started being reported from different parts of the country. And this number grew as the day passed.
It became so hard for the health workers and doctors even to take the samples or monitor the infected persons at the hospitals.
Thus, to safeguard their lives and respect, it became mandatory for the government to bring an ordinance against attack on doctors and health workers.
Key points of the ordinance against attack on doctors and health workers
— Change.org India (@ChangeOrg_India) April 22, 2020
- On 22nd April 2020, a meeting of cabinet ministers was scheduled. The cabinet announced an Ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, to protect people in the healthcare sector and their property. This ordinance also safeguards living/working premises against violence during epidemics.
- The ordinance will provide “ZERO TOLERANCE” against the violence against doctors and health workers in epidemics.
- Attacks on doctors and health workers will be a non-bailable offense.
- Any attack on health workers and doctors will also be liable for a penalty of 50000 (Fifty thousand) to 200000 (Two Lacks).
- Of severe offenses, this penalty can go even from 200000 (Two Lacks) to 500000 (Five Lacks).
- The punishment is not only limited to a penalty. But there is also a jail term of 6 months to a maximum of 7 years.
- In case of damage to property, the offender will be liable to pay compensation to the victim twice the market value of the property.
Who will be a safeguard in this ordinance against the attack on doctors and health workers
The amendment in the epidemic act will safeguard
- Doctors ( both Government and Private )
- Health Workers
- Office Boys ( Brothers )
- Paramedical staff
- ASHA workers
PRO’s of ordinance against attack on doctors and health workers
- The attacks on health workers collecting the samples will stop.
- Private doctors could operate freely and help in identifying local carriers.
- The surge in cases of harassment on the medical team and staff by the infected people could come to a halt.
- Hospitals could work smoothly and more efficiently.
CON’s of ordinance against attack on doctors and health workers
- The ordinance is limited to epidemics only as it is written in the public press release. And the instances of attack on doctors are seen every then and while. It is still not made clear if it will apply for other situations or not.
- There may be a case also in which anti-social elements could target the health workers after the epidemic. So, it is not clear how they will be safeguarded after the epidemic (Pandemic in the current case ).
- One more issue related to the ordinance is its implementation. Implementing the ordinance on the full force will be a humongous task.
The ordinance against attack on doctors and health workers has some serious flaws and limitations. The central government introduced the law in a hurry.
And why do we think this ordinance is in a hurry?
Because doctors were supposed to protest against the violence, harassment, and attacks by lightning the candles. And it would have been a catastrophe if doctors would have denied working in this emergency.
Doctors are demanding a permanent law for their safety against the violence. And this law doesn’t address their demand at all.
Apart from the law, health workers need PPE’s and testing kits, which should also be provided immediately.
But still, the government should be applauded for bringing the ordinance for protecting the health workers against any attacks and violence in such a short span. The government also took a firm decision to term the offense non-bailable, which makes the ordinance firm and rigid.
A strong will to work for the safety of workers can be felt, and we hope this ordinance will further be amended to check the limitations too.
“ After all, something is better than nothing. “
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