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IMA wants hospitals to be declared safe zones

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the government to declare hospitals as “safe zones” to protect health-care workers and patients, pointing out that over 100 doctors, including women, have been brutally attacked in the past two years in the Kerala.

Samuel Koshy, president, and Joseph Benaven, honourary secretary, Kerala State branch of the IMA, told the media here on Wednesday that doctors, nurses and healthcare workers were being targeted if patients died in the course of the treatment because of their existing health conditions. Anti-social elements and criminal-minded politicians were found to be the culprits in most of these cases. Some other accused were police personnel, they claimed.

The IMA functionaries were here as part of a State-wide yatra titled “Tharangam”, which was launched in Kasaragod recently.

Dr. Koshy and Dr. Benaven claimed that police authorities had failed to ensure conviction in cases involving attacks on healthcare workers. They were found to be delaying the arrest to help the accused get anticipatory bail. The IMA would take strong action if such incidents recurred, they said.

The IMA leaders said that though they welcomed the intention behind the Kerala Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2018, some of its provisions were found to be harmful to small hospitals and clinics. Such provisions should be changed. They said that implementing the Act in a hurry would create a crisis as the society was yet to fully recover from the pandemic.

They said that the national policy of mixing different branches of medicine was unscientific. It would affect the public health system. They also opposed the move to allow people who were not qualified in modern medicine to practise it after completing bridge courses. The IMA leaders said that States such as Kerala had more than enough qualified medical graduates and there was no need for such short-cut routes. The Hindu

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