The Union Health Ministry has written to all the States directing them to ensure safety of healthcare workers. 

In a letter addressed to “Additional Chief Secretary/ Principal Secretary/ Secretary (Health) of all States/UTs”, Joint Secretary to the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said necessary steps must be taken to ensure the safety of healthcare workers. 

“…recently there have been some reports of incidents of physical violence against doctors and other professionals/healthcare workers particularly from Assam, West Bengal and Karnataka. Such incidents impact the morale of our healthcare workforce who have shown exemplary commitment against all odds in COVID-19 management,” the letter read. 

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Considering the importance of the issue, it is requested that all states may undertake a detailed review and ensure that prompt and necessary steps are taken for healthcare workers safety and wellbeing besides strict implementation of the amended Epidemic Disease Act,” the letter added. 

The letter also pointed out that recently an ordinance was introduced, which was notified as an Act, according to which violence against doctors is a non-bailable offence. 

“The amended Act states that ‘whoever commits or abets the commission of an act of violence against healthcare service personnel or causes damage or loss to any property’ shall be punished with imprisonment and with fine. Such offenses are also cognizable and non-bailable,” the letter added. 

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