Chandigarh doctors observe ‘Black Day’ to protest assaults on medics
On the call of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for a nationwide protest against the assault on doctors and medical professionals, doctors from various sectors of Chandigarh observed Friday as a ‘Black Day’.
IMA, the apex medical body, had asked all its state and local branches across the country to observe a protest on Friday by wearing black badges, masks, ribbons, and by running an awareness campaign against violence on healthcare staff.
Over 40 members of IMA Chandigarh, including government and private doctors, staged a protest outside IMA house in Sector 35. While displaying “Save the saviours” placards, the doctors demanded implementation of the Central Hospital and Healthcare Professionals Protection Act along with Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) sections.
However, health services across hospitals were not disrupted during the protest. “We have sent a written request to the Prime Minister to implement this law. Private health sector, specially small and medium health establishments, is providing 75% services to the citizens and they are more subjected to violence and attacks. Besides physical assaults, doctors are increasingly coming under mental and psychological assaults by patients and their relatives,” said Dr Virender Kappal, state president, IMA Chandigarh.
Dr RS Sethi, former national vice-president, IMA, said, “Mostly due to financial burden, patients and their families attack the doctors. Young doctors are now showing reluctance in undertaking emergencies because of fear of violence. We urge people to go for family insurance to avoid extra expenses, which ultimately lead to assaults.”
Around 1,300 senior and junior resident doctors of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) wore black badges and ribbons to show their support to the healthcare workers. “We stand with the doctors of our country. Medical professionals, who are saving lives during the pandemic, must be saved from the assaults,” said Dr Uttam Thakur, member of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), PGIMER.
Meanwhile, not many doctors at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, and Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, were seen wearing black badges to observe protests.