Monday, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor asked the government to bring back “as soon as possible” a bill that would stop violence against doctors and other health care workers.
During Zero Hour, he told the Lok Sabha that violence against health care workers hurts the health system, lowers the quality of care, and “in turn makes violence more likely.”
“Our health care workers are neither respected nor protected enough… Tharoor said, “For this reason, I urge the Health Minister, and if necessary, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Law and Justice, to reintroduce a comprehensive Central law as soon as possible to stop violence against health care workers.”
The bill, called the Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, was introduced by the government in 2019. Tharoor told the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour that the bill would have made violence against doctors a non-bailable and cognisable crime with a maximum jail sentence of five years. Tharoor said, “But this (the Bill) was pulled by the government before Parliament could look at it, without giving any reason.”
The MP for Thiruvananthapuram said that while there is no central data on assaults against healthcare workers or health facilities, “the Indian Medical Association estimates that 75% of all doctors face some form of physical abuse during their service, and many cases of violence are severely underreported.”
“These are the people who serve our citizens without expecting anything in return and try to save lives. At the moment, there is no national law that covers this issue in a complete and clear way. State laws differ. The laws we have now are hard to follow and don’t do enough to protect our healthcare workers. Tharoor said that 11 states and union territories have no laws at all.
Nishikant Dubey, a BJP MP from Jharkhand, brought up the fact that the number of Santhal people is going down and asked the government to start the NRC (National Register of Citizens) in all 6 districts of the Santhal Pargana division. He also said that religious converts shouldn’t get any help from the federal or state government that was meant for tribal people.
RSP member NK Premachandran asked the government to get rid of a circular that the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EFPO) put out on January 25, 2023, because it goes against the spirit of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Kunwar Danish Ali, who is a BSP member and represents the Amroha seat in Uttar Pradesh, brought up the issue of electricity in his area.
Tirath Singh Rawat brought up the issue of land sinking in Joshimath, Uttarakhand, and said that the urban local bodies in the hilly state should come up with a plan to stop this from happening again.