Doctors across the state were relieved after Governor SC Jamir validated their struggle for security by passing an ordinance to protect them from mob attacks on Monday.
Under the Doctors Protection Law, offenders will face an imprisonment of up to three years for attacking a doctor or healthcare worker. In addition, those who attack doctors could also be liable to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. If hospital property is damaged, the perpetrators shall have to pay double its current market value.
Doctors welcomed the Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Ordinance, 2009, that has made mob attacks on them a non-bailable offence.
While providing the doctors safety, the ordinance has also stated that cells at local levels shall be established to hear grievances of victims of medical negligence. The ordinance states the cells shall consist of people who have expertise in medicine, law, consumer and health management.
In the last few months, the state had witnessed many strikes by the doctor community. From declaring the 24th of each month as non-practice day to disrupting work at public hospitals by striking after mob attacks, doctors have been fighting to get the ordinance passed.
“We welcome the ordinance, it has ended a long drawn battle for safety and would help us work better in a safer environment,” said Dr Lalit Kapoor, president of the Indian Medical Association.