Dr Vandana's death: Kerala govt to amend hospital protection law; new block in deceased's name

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Dr Vandana, Minister Veena George

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday said it was going to issue an ordinance amending the law for the protection of hospitals to ensure the safety of doctors and healthcare professionals in the state.

The decision was announced by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the wake of the killing of a 23-year-old doctor -- Vandana Das -- at a taluk hospital in Kollam district by a man brought there for treatment by the police, and the resultant widespread protests by doctors, medical students and healthcare professionals.

He said the ordinance would be introduced in the next cabinet meeting.

The government will seek the opinion of the Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS), Medical Associations and other parties. The government will also incorporate suggestions tabled by the High Court regarding the ordinance to amend the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2012.

Besides issuance of the ordinance, the CM said that police outposts would be set up at major hospitals in the state.

Meanwhile, the regime, which has been receiving flak over Das' death, in an apparent damage control move, decided to name the new block in Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital (where the incident took place) after her. Health Minister Veena George has issued an order to the Health Department director regarding the same.

Health Department has also called for a probe into the incident. Deputy District Medical Officer Rajan Mathew will lead the probe. He had collected evidence and recorded the statements of hospital staff.

George on the other day had set Das' photo as her Facebook profile picture.

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