Ordinance for safety of medical professionals comes into force in Kerala with govt notification

It will also an offense to use words intended to be abusive or insulting. Photo: Shutterstock/spaxiax

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Wednesday issued a notification for the implementation of the ordinance which aims to ensure the safety of healthcare professionals in the state. According to this, verbal abuse at hospital staff will invite three months of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 10000 or both. It will also be an offense to use words intended to be abusive or insulting. The notification says that the case trials on such cases will be completed within one year. Each district will have a special court and a special prosecutor.

The Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had signed the ordinance that provides for strict punishment to those working in the health services sector in Kerala on Tuesday. This includes imprisonment of up to seven years and a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh for those found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to those working in the sector. The ordinance was approved on May 17 in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the wake of the brutal killing of Dr Vandana Das by a patient -- G Sandeep, a school teacher by profession – at Kottarakkara taluk hospital in Kollam district.

Under the , anyone found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to any healthcare worker or professional would be punished with imprisonment ranging from one year to seven years and a fine of Rs one lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

The ordinance also provides that anyone who commits or attempts to commit or incites or inspires an act of violence against healthcare workers or those working in healthcare institutions shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 6 months and up to 5 years and with a fine between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh.

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