By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], April 22 (ANI): It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who personally took cognisance of violence faced by doctors and guided the Cabinet to pass the ordinance that provides for stringent measures against anyone getting violent with the medical fraternity during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Earlier today, Union Minister Amit Shah said that the "government is protecting those who are protecting India."
"PM @narendramodi's govt is committed to protecting those who are protecting India during these challenging times," Shah tweeted.
He added: "Bringing an ordinance to end violence against our doctors and health workers is a testimony of the same. This will go a long way in assuring their safety and dignity."
Indian Medical Association (IMA) president Dr Rajan Sharma said the conference was held in response to the call given by the doctor's body to observe the black day by health professionals as they are witnessing violence during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
"Union Minister Shah said that he is concerned about our issues and that there is a clear message by the PM as well to sort this out as soon as possible. And his ministry is working on a strategy to overcome this issue shortly," informed Sharma.
The Union Cabinet today passed an ordinance that is expected to act as a deterrent in ending violence against doctors and health professionals. The decision came within hours after the representatives of the IMA had a video conference with Home Minister Shah and Union Health Minister Dr Harshav Vardhan demanding a law to check violence against doctors.
During his conference with doctors, Shah had assured the doctors that justice will be done and no offence would go unpunished.
Thanking the ministers for passing the ordinance, Dr Vinay Agarwal, former president IMA, said that Shah had made it clear in the morning conference that the government, especially his ministry, is serious about the issue.
Ramesh Datta, Finance Secretary, IMA, said: "We welcome the move. It is a positive news. We had been demanding this for the past many years. We welcome this step. I think the decision is the outcome of the conference we had with the Home Minister today."
Dr Agarwal said the IMA had been fighting for the security of health professionals for long.
"A few states did bring the bill but it was toothless and not many perpetrators saw the indictment. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit us out of nowhere. The PM applauded us not once but three times. We saw the violence against doctors in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Moradabad, and Gujarat, though doctors fought against the virus without preventive measures. 200 doctors were infected with the virus and six have died," added Dr Agarwal.
"What made us desperate for a symbolic call of protest was when two doctors did not receive proper burial and cremation. Don't we deserve respect and dignity even in death? We never stopped performing our duties," said Dr Agarwal. (ANI)