IMA Withdraws Protest Over Attacks on Docs After Shah’s Assurance

“The COVID-19 has only made us acutely aware of our helplessness against mindless abuse and violence,” IMA said.

2 min read
Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, 22 April, interacted with IMA’s doctors through video conference and assured them security.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) which was demanding the Centre to introduce a law for protection of medical professionals from attacks on duty has withdrawn its symbolic protest after Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, 22 April, assured them security.

The home minister interacted with the doctors and the IMA through video-conferencing, a home ministry official said. Shah appreciated their good work and assured them full security, the official said.

Calling for a nationwide 'White Alert', the IMA had asked doctors and hospitals across the country to light candles on Wednesday as a protest against such rising attacks amid the lockdown.

‘COVID-19 Made Us Aware of Our Helplessness’

"The COVID-19 has only made us acutely aware of our helplessness against mindless abuse and violence. Harassment by administration is nothing but violence by the state,” they said in a letter.

“Our legitimate needs for safe workplaces have to be met,” the doctorshad said in the letter addressed to all State Presidents and Secretaries, Local branch Presidents and Secretaries and all National office-bearers along with past National Presidents and Past HSGs.

The doctors’ body also had warned that they will observe ‘Black Day’ if no action is taken by the government and doctors in the country will work with black badges on 23 April.

Further decisions will be taken if suitable steps are not taken by the government even after Black Day, the IMA said.

"The IMA has maintained utmost restraint and patience in spite of extreme provocations. Doctors have been abused, beaten up, denied entry and residence. Obstruction to cremation is the last straw that IMA can bear.

"If dignity is denied even in death, our patience and restraint lose their value,” it said.

Several incidents of violence against medical professionals have been reported from different parts of the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a poignant incident in Chennai, an orthopaedic surgeon had to bury his associate, a neurosurgeon who died of COVID-19, in the middle of the night using his bare hands and a shovel at a crematorium with the help of just two hospital wardboys after the undertakers fled when a mob, protesting the interment, attacked them.

(With inputs from PTI)

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