Patna: While recognizing the long awaited demands of doctors and other health personnel in the state, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday gave green signal to the Health Professional Protection Bill.

The new law comes in the wake of the recent spurt in cases of violence against doctors and other medical staff by the relatives and attendants of the patients.

However, the Bill also provides for making doctors accountable for their services rendered to patients.

As per the proposed Bill, attack on doctors and health workers or on hospitals will be considered as cognizable offence. The crime would invite imprisonment of up to three years and fine for causing damage to the hospital property.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took the decision in this regard after holding parleys with state’s Health Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Principal Secretary of Health Department Amarjeet Sinha.

Stating the conditions attached with the law, the doctors will have to exhibit appropriate attitude towards patients and offer proper treatment. Doctors would have to give a proper reason for advising or referring any patient to another hospital or doctor.

The state Cabinet also gave its nod to the Nursing Home Registration Bill. As per the proposed Bill, private clinics could operate only after getting duly registered.

However, the Indian Medical Association has some reservations over increasing bureaucratic control over private clinics and hospitals and has protested against it across the country.
The draft Bills of both the laws will now be presented in monsoon session of the state Assembly for ratification.

(JPN/Bureau)