IMA condemns violence against doctors Calls for a stringent central act against this practice and making it a non-bailable offence New Delhi, 26 May 2017: The IMA has called for a stringent central act against the increasing incidence of violence against doctors. This comes as part of the Association's intensive month-long campaign to raise awareness on and bring to light the issues faced by the medical profession today. IMA is a unified voice and the collective consciousness of the medical profession in the country. In this capacity, it has organized a protest march called the Dilli Chalo movement on 6th June 2017, which will be followed by deliberations on issues facing the medical fraternity. An estimate by the IMA shows that over 75% of doctors across the country have faced at least some form of violence. About 18 states across the country have laws in place to address this issue. However, doctors still continue to face the wrath of patients' kin due to lack of efficient implementation of these laws. Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, "Disturbing a doctor while he/she is on duty in the critical area, either verbally, mentally or physically, is definitely not acceptable. Any act of violence against doctors should be made a punishable, non-bailable offence with imprisonment of up to 14 years. The doctors posted in critical areas are on sensitive duty where they look after critically ill patients and violence can endanger multiple lives. A stringent central law is the only answer. Every critical area in the hospital must have voice-activated CCTV camera and adequate doctor-to-patient ratio. There is also a need to change the government policy of allowing four minutes per patient." As per a nationwide study conducted by IMA earlier, doctors face maximum violence while providing emergency services, with as many as 48.8% of such incidents reported from intensive care units (ICUs) or after a patient undergoes surgery. The main reason reported behind such violence is unnecessary investigations or delay in attending to a patient. Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, "It is important to understand that doctors are also human beings and not healing angels. Once treatment is administered, the recuperation of a patient depends upon physical and organic factors. It is unacceptable and absurd to victimize the medical practitioner if the patient does not respond to treatment." It is after having decided that enough is enough that the IMA has given this clarion call, Dilli Chalo. The march will be undertaken by over a lakh doctors in the country, both digitally and physically. IMA is also initiating a signature campaign on the issues at hand on social media and has urged all doctors to join and collect hundreds of thousands of signatures to demand justice from the government.