Protection for medicos
The entire world has been going through a tough time since the past 18 months now. All aspects of our life have been touched and that too very deeply by the dreaded coronavirus. People across the globe have witnessed miseries of highest order and many countries have crumbled under the demand that the healthcare sector faced during the times of pandemic.
The situation has eased a bit after the second wave of the pandemic has subsided to a large extent but now experts of talking about a possible third wave which again can make things very difficult for healthcare professionals and the health infrastructure.
Though the medicos and the paramedics in most of the ceases have done a commendable job, it would be acting thankless if we do not show our gratitude to the healthcare workers who worked tirelessly to ensure that the virus is defeated.
However, what concerns a right thinking person is that some people out of mere frustration have acted violently against the medicos and other staff during the pandemic times as these people did not get the required healthcare facilities that they were scheduled to get.
The reasons were obvious that the healthcare sector was not developed enough to take the load that the pandemic brought onto it. But, all said and done no one has the right to act violently against any healthcare professional as they are not responsible for the poor or weak infrastructure that proved to be the weakest point while dealing with the pandemic.
Now after lot of persuasion the centre has come out in defence of the healthcare professionals by taking the issue seriously and directing all states and UT’s to register cases and invoke the stringent Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act, 2020 against those who indulge in assault on doctors and healthcare professionals.
This move became necessary following several incidents of attack on doctors and healthcare professionals in different parts of the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The states were told that in the present circumstances, it has become imperative that strict action be taken against those who assault healthcare professionals.
According to the EDAA 2020 anyone involved in the assault on doctors and healthcare professionals are liable to be punished with imprisonment up to five years, and a fine up to Rs two lakh. Further, if an act of violence against a healthcare service personnel causes grievous harm, the person committing the offence will be punishable with imprisonment up to seven years and a fine up to Rs five lakh.
Though the legal protection provided to the healthcare was long overdue what remains to be seen is that how does the order issued by the Centre pan out to various regions and how law enforcing agencies will comply with the provisions to make it viable and effective measure that will ensure protection of the healthcare professionals.
Not only should Institutional FIRs be registered against assaulters but such cases should be fast-tracked so that the culprits are booked and punished.