WMA urges legislation on violence against physicians

The WMA has expressed its disappointment at the Indian Government’s reported refusal to bring in legislation to penalise those involved in violence against physicians.

Reports that the Indian Home Ministry has rejected the idea of a separate law for protecting doctors has been criticised by the Association as a failure of duty.

WMA President Dr. Miguel Jorge said ‘Physicians across India will be bitterly upset at the Government’s failure to protect them. According to the Indian Medical Association, an astonishing 75 per cent of Indian doctors have been the target of violence or harassment while on duty.

‘The primary mission of physicians to save life and provide health care to all those in need requires safe working conditions. Exposing them to violence undermines patient care and the whole health care system.

‘I appeal to the Indian Government to think again and to support its own Union Health Ministry’s draft legislation. This would send a strong message against all violence on doctors and hospitals.’