Anti-CAA stir: Declare hospitals safe zones, says IMA

Last Updated 22 December 2019, 14:36 IST

Amid "disturbing" incidents of police entering hospital during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, including in a Mangaluru hospital, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Sunday said it is a "new low" in the civic life of the nation while demanding that such facilities be declared safe zones.

It said that no violence is acceptable in hospitals, which are "sacrosanct and are exempted even in a war zone".

"There are disturbing reports from areas of protests and resistance that police have entered hospitals and at least in one case the ICU. This is a new low in the civic life of the nation but not entirely unexpected given the impunity which violence is heaped on doctors and hospitals. However the difference this time is that it is the establishment which has lost its restraint," an IMA statement said.

The statement comes amid reports about police entering hospitals and "at least in one case" the Intensive Care Unit. CCTV footage from Highland Hospital ward in Mangaluru had shown that police entering the hospital in search of protesters and even kicking at the doors, which was said to be that of the ICU.

"IMA has the legacy of taking on the West over its bombings of hospitals in Afganistan. Violations by the Russian State have been flagged off by none other than the World Medical Association. What makes IMA react today is that disturbing reports of denial of access to medical care are emerging. This is unacceptable," it said.

"Everyone has the right of access to medical care. The Government and its establishment have no right to deny anyone their right of access. The visuals of a policeman violently opening an ICU door by stomping is a clear indication of the New Truth and the New Standards," it said.

The IMA said all violence is "unacceptable, especially those perpetrated by the State" on people who require medical attention and care.

"Everyone should feel comfortable in the hands that heal. Indian Doctors will Never let down whoever requires care. No politics can dilute this resolve," it added.

(Published 22 December 2019, 11:15 IST)

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