December 18, 2007

Andhra Pradesh Doctors to get security cover

If you get violent with a doctor in Andhra Pradesh while he or she is on duty hen be prepared for three years of jail.

The Dr Rajasekhara Reddy government has issued an ordinance to ensure safety to doctors. The Ordinance says any act of violence on a doctor, nurse or paramedical staff while on duty in a government or private hospital, will lead to three years in jail.

After the government's decision, the doctors called off their strike and will join work from tomorrow morning.

''So far it was just three months of jail and was a bailable offence. Now if property is damaged or if a doctor is assaulted then he will straight go to jail and only the magistrate will have powers,'' said Mohd Shabbir Ali, Cabinet Minister, Andhra Pradesh.

Doctors in Andhra Pradesh have been protesting against three incidents of assault on them by relatives of patients.

The ordinance cleared by the cabinet says that any damage to property and equipment will also be construed as an offence.

To take care of complaints by patients or their relatives, a Grievance Redressal Authority will be set up in all government hospitals.

''We hope that it will be enforced and implemented. We should feel protected only then will our minds work freely and we can give better service,'' said Dr Janaki, Government Doctor.

Junior doctors or medical students however say they will continue their strike until Special Protection Force is posted to guard all government hospitals. Junior doctors work as an extended arm of the government doctors and mainly take care of out-patients

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