GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - Noting that incidences of attacks on medical officers in tea gardens have shaken the morale of all executives in the industry, the Tea Association of India today asked the government to convert the Bill which Bill proposes to make assault on doctors and other medical personnel and damage to hospital property and equipment a major offence into a law immediately.
Expressing shock at the brutal assault on Dr Deben Dutta, the Medical Officer of Teok Tea Estate on August 31, TAI secretary general PK Bhattacharjee said incidences of violence on doctors and other medical personnel have been reported now and then.
These incidents, both in the urban as well as rural areas, have led to the various State governments to enact laws on their protection.
�The Assam Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2011 has not proved to be a deterrent because of various factors,� he said.
The tea body said that the Government of India has already conceptualized a Bill to address this problem which is reportedly in the process of being sent to the State governments for seeking their views.
�A rigorous fine with imprisonment, etc., and such stringent provision of law can go a long way to bolster the morale of the medical persons engaged in the tea industry,� he said.
The TAI, in an appeal, submitted to Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, urged him to use his good offices to pursue promulgation of the Central Act with the Central government to convert the above stated Bill into an Act on an urgent basis.
The TAI also urged the Government of Assam to explore the possibility to amend the Criminal Code of Procedure to include such heinous attacks within the ambit of The Assam Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2011.
It is also urged the State government to devise a standing operational procedure (SoP) so that as soon as information of such assault occur, a rapid response system is triggered to arrest the situation from deterioration.
�With massive expansion of health services launched by the State government in tune with the national flagship missions of health by the Central government, this association would also look forward to the integration or merger of the garden hospitals within governmental working parameters,� he added.