The Tamil Nadu Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2008 came into effect in the State more than 11 years ago. However, the attacks and assault on doctors continue and the situation sees no improvement in Tamil Nadu as such incidents have been reported at government hospitals time and again.
The Act prohibits violence against medical service persons and damage or loss to the property of medical service institutions.
In 2012, Dr Sethulakshmi was killed by the kin of a deceased patient in Thoothukudi and a doctor was attacked at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital a few years ago. Last year, a doctor was slapped by the relative of a patient while administering injections. Laws alone cannot stop such incidents. Despite regulations, there is no implementation of these regulations,” said Dr G R Ravindranath, Doctors’ Association of Social Equality.
The Act was formulated to punish persons committing violence by making the offense cognisable and non-bailable and to provide compensation for damage or loss caused to the property of medical service institutions.
“There is a need for a central system to ensure the safety of the medical fraternity and to take effective action in case of any violations. Doctors cannot continue to work in fear,” said Dr K Senthil, president, Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association.
Medicos said that violence against doctors not only creates unrest among medicos but also results in the hindrance of medical services in the State.
“Though we have an effective Act to counter such incidents, the police also need to cooperate and coordinate to book cases under the Act and take action accordingly. We often face a lack of coordination from the end of the authorities taking care of law and order to implement the same,” said Director of Medical Services Dr Mohanan.