GUWAHATI, Dec 23 � The State Government may go for a separate legislation to prevent wrong treatment in the healthcare institutions if that does not contradict the provisions of the Consumers� Protection Act, said Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the State Assembly here today. He was replying to a debate on The Assam Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2011.
The Minister said that he was ready to consult the Opposition members and to work jointly to prepare such a bill, and if required, the bill will be placed in the next session of the Assembly.
He clarified that the present bill was not meant to support the misbehaviour, maltreatment, maladministration etc of the doctors, nor it is meant to ban protests of all such misdeeds. It is meant only to prevent violence.
The Public Health Act is there to safeguard the interest of the patients. If the need is felt for one more legislation for the purpose of safeguarding the interest of the patients, the Government is ready to bring such a bill, he said.
But if the provision of providing protection to the patients is included in the present bill, a wrong message may be sent to the people, he said, admitting that there are sporadic incidents of �violence by the junior doctors.� But such incidents occur �in retaliation to the attacks on their fellow doctors,� he maintained.
However, the Government is very firm against such incidents, he claimed.
The Minister also informed the House that ten per cent of the 108 mobile emergency medical service vans are damaged every year by the irate people. But the present bill has not included any provision on the mobile medical service vans, he said.
The Government is planning to send around 300 young doctors to the rural areas on January 1 next. Their safety should also be ensured, he said.
The Clause 3 (b) of the bill � which stated �Use of threatening or abusive language against any Medicare Service Person,� was withdrawn following the pleas made by BJP MLA Ranjit Das that there is a scope to misinterpret the clause.
The other amendments moved by the Opposition AIUDF and AGP members were withdrawn following the reply of the Minister.