Kerala cabinet approves ordinance to ensure safety of health workers 

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House surgeons protesting over death of doctor in Kalamassery Medical College | File Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala cabinet granted approval on Wednesday to an ordinance aimed at amending the existing healthcare service law. The amendments are intended to implement various recommendations, including the setting up of fast track courts to address cases involving attacks against healthcare workers.

According to the decisions taken at the state level, the aim is to amend the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2012.

The ordinance also seeks to address the issue of abuse targeting healthcare workers on social media. Recommendations have been made to enhance the sentences and fines specified in the current law. It is learnt that an accused may face a minimum imprisonment of two years and a maximum of seven years.

Furthermore, if a complaint is lodged, then an FIR must be registered within an hour. On failing to do so, action will be taken against the police officer. There will also be a definite time period for probe and trial. Those who vandalise property, will be charged three times the actual cost of the goods.

The health workers had been demanding to formulate the ordinance seeking harsh punishment for attacks on hospital personnel, for a long time. However, the steps expedited following the death of Dr Vandana Das in Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital.

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