Letter from ASI President to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India – Violence Against Doctors
Dear Shri Narendra Modi ji,
Sub: Series of violent attacks against Healthcare professionals & Central Ordinance – violence against doctors
I am writing to you on behalf of the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), which is South Asia’s largest and world’s second largest Surgical Organisation that represents the voice of the surgical fraternity in India.
The Surgeons across India are deeply concerned regarding the series of cruel, brutal & cold-hearted acts of violence, abuse and vigilantism against the Medical Profession, which has reached its zenith during the unprecedented humanitarian crisis that we are facing today whilst fighting the war against COVID 19.
The most recent barbaric act against the family/friends of Dr. Simon Hercules in Chennai yesterday, who could not even ensure a descent burial for this humane doctor speaks volumes about the “new low” we have reached as nation. He spent his entire life serving humanity and was diligently treating COVID patients in the frontline and succumbed to this very infection.
Sadly, the Medical Profession is an endangered species in the Country. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the very lives of Doctors is in great peril.
Healthcare professionals are placing their own lives at risk and doing their very best treating and saving lives of patients infected with COVID 19. Despite rising to the occasion and going way beyond the call of call of our duty, I am profoundly concerned at the manner in which a section of determined citizenry have become insensitive, cruel & ungrateful to the very fraternity that is striving to keep the good of the patient as their highest priority.
The main reason for such acts increasing rapidly is the absence of any VISIBLE punishment to any of the criminals involved in any of the cases anywhere in the country due to our painfully slow legal system. Whilst the Government of India did begin the process to implement a Central law to punish people who assault doctors, it did not materialize.
There must be immediate, harsh, firm and VISIBLE actions to be taken, which will send a strong message that the present Government will not tolerate such acts.
There is an urgent need for a Central Law on violence against Healthcare professionals by promulgating an ordinance.
The Healthcare profession is badly demoralized/bruised and our morale is at its lowest ebb. In this state of mind, I urge you to kindly consider as to how healthcare workers could provide best possible health care in an atmosphere
of hatred, fear and violence.
With folded hands, on behalf of the Association of Surgeons of India, I request you to please consider this issue as a matter of urgent priority and ensure swift delivery of justice by way of making a Central act Ordinance a reality.
“Sir, Modi hai to yeh bhi mumkin hai”.
With kindest regards.
Dr. P. Raghu Ram
MS, FRCS (Edin), FRCS (Eng), FRCS (Glasg), FRCS (Irel), Hon. FRCS (Thailand), FACS
Padma Shri Awardee (2015)
Dr.B.C. Roy National awardee (2016)
President, The Association of Surgeons of India