|LETTER TO THE AUTHOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 603-604
From the desk of the Editor-in-Chief responding to the author
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, MGM Medical College and Hospital, MGM Institute of Health Sciences (Deemed to Be University), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||11-Nov-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||11-Nov-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||29-Dec-2022|
Dr. Sushil Kumar
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, MGM Medical College and Hospital, MGM Institute of Health Sciences (Deemed to Be University), Navi Mumbai 410209, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Kumar S. From the desk of the Editor-in-Chief responding to the author. MGM J Med Sci 2022;9:603-4
This is regarding the letter to the editor titled “Menace of violence against doctors—Its possible solutions” as a response to the editorial “Doctors suicide and the vulnerability of medical profession.” First of all, we would like to thank you for your response and appreciate the fact that you took the time to comment on our editorial.
Your comprehensive analysis of the problems of violence against doctors and possible solutions is highly appreciated. It also shows your commitment to the welfare of the medical community. However, the purpose of our editorial was to raise awareness and highlight the grave situation of the mental health of doctors in our country. We have also raised similar issues in our editorial during the COVID pandemic. It was not our intention to give solutions for the same as we did not find ourselves competent enough to do so. We do respect and appreciate the solutions you have provided, but at the same time, it is important to note that it is not always possible to bring about such a sea of change in a short period without the support of all sections of society. Until then, we the “medical fraternity” have to find ways and means to protect ourselves.
Health care in India is handled at a state level, and about 23 states have their laws to protect healthcare workers, but all of them have variations in terms of punishments and are not well implemented. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has been demanding a comprehensive law to tackle such violence for many years. During the Pandemic, a temporary solution came up as “The Epidemic Diseases Act 1897” was amended and created a provision by increasing the fine for violence against doctors to Rs. 2 lakhs and imprisonment to 5 years or more in case the injury inflicted is grave.
The issue is that this act has been revoked now that the pandemic is over, and hence we are back to square one. There needs to be a separate national-level law to protect doctors against violence. The IMA has already submitted its draft of a law to protect doctors, but the government is still pondering over it. In 2020, the Indian Government drafted the “Health Services Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage of Property) Bill,” which did not get passed due to the Union Home Ministry said that the existing sections of IPC and CrPC are enough to tackle violence in health care. They argued that if a law is made just for healthcare workers, other professionals will start demanding laws specific to their needs.
But some studies say that healthcare professionals face more violence than others. Hence, it is necessary for a national law to be passed to protect healthcare professionals from violence. Such a change will take time and we have to be patient for the same. Till then, we the medical fraternity should collectively deal with the issues and convince lawmakers to make and implement comprehensive laws to protect doctors from mental trauma and violence. We are optimistic that we can fight this battle at the local, district, state, and national levels by organizing desks ourselves.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Gupta H Menace of violence against doctors—Its possible solutions. MGM J Med Sci 2022;9:442-4.
Kumar S, Ramanathan V Doctors’ suicide and the vulnerability of medical profession. MGM J Med Sci 2022;9:133-4.
Sushil K Doctors 2020—Battling on many fronts beside COVID-19 editorial. MGM J Med Sci 2019;6:155-6.
Kaur B India’s doctors are still facing violence. So where are the laws to protect them? Wire. April 18, 2022. Available from: https://thewire.in/health/indias-doctors-are-still-facing-violence-so-where-are-the-laws-to-protect-them
. [Last accessed on 25 Oct 2022].
Reddy IR, Ukrani J, Indla V, Ukrani V Violence against doctors: A viral epidemic? Indian J Psychiatry 2019;61:782-5.