Under a Notice dated 2nd September, 2019, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (“Ministry”) has prepared a legislation titled as “The Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of violence and damage to property) Bill, 2019 to address two basic issues faced by the Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments. Firstly, the issues of violence faced by the healthcare service professionals and secondly, damage of property of clinical establishments.
The Ministry also welcomes advice and suggestions with regard to the draft bill which may be forwarded within 1st October via email at “us-ms-mohfwnic.in” or to Shri. Rajeev Attri, Under Secretary (Medical Services Division), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Room No. 514(B), A-Wing, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi-110011.
In light of the recent aggression and violence targeting the professionals of healthcare services which pose a threat to their lives and liberty and the violence against the clinical establishments creating loss and damage of property, it has become imperative that a legislation be drafted to penalise such violent acts in order to prevent the unrest and provide compensation for the damages caused.
The Bill applies to clinical establishments registered under the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 or under any State Act for the time being in force and Healthcare Professionals. A healthcare service personnel will include a registered medical practitioner, possessing a recognized medical qualification as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and enrolled in the State Medical Register, a medical practitioner registered for practising in any other system of medicine which is recognized under any law, a registered dentist, registered nurse and any medical student undergoing education or training in any system of medicine. A clinical establishment will include a hospital, maternity home, nursing home, dispensary, clinic, sanatorium or an institution by whatever name called that offers services, facilities requiring diagnosis and the like along with a place established as an independent entity in connection with diagnosis and treatment of diseases and will also include a clinical establishment owned and managed by a Government or a doctor or a trust or corporation.
KEY ASPECTS OF THE BILL
- The Bill prohibits violence of any kind against any healthcare service professional or any act which damages the property of a healthcare establishment. The punishment for inciting violence against any healthcare professional and/or damaging any property of any healthcare establishment will be imprisonment for minimum six months which might extend to five years and fine. In case of grievous hurt, which is defined in the Indian penal Code, the punishment will be minimum three years of imprisonment, but which may extend to ten years. The nature of the offences as laid down in the Bill will be non bailable and cognizable.
- Apart from the punishment, the convicted person will have to pay an amount which is twice the value of the property damaged as compensation for damages and or One Lakh Rupees for causing hurt to the healthcare personnel and five lakh rupees for causing grievous hurt to the healthcare service personnel.