President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari, has issued an ordinance that amends the Security of the Health Workers and Health Organizations Act. The President signed off on the ordinance after the council of ministers recommended her to do so.
The ordinance strong-arms the act with the clause that whosoever attacks an on-duty healthcare professional is liable to be imprisoned for three years or may face a fine up to NPR 300,000. The perpetrator may face both the fines, as per the ordinance.
The ordinance goes on to propose the same punishments for offenses which include perpetrators picketing or vandalizing any health institution.
The ordinance sought to address the healthcare professional’s demand for the imprisonment of the perpetrators who violate the act. Various conditions have been carved into the ordinance to deny bail.
The council of ministers recommended this ordinance as people are often attacking healthcare professionals citing healthcare failures due to purported negligence. The Presidential sign-off is aimed at putting a check on these wanton acts.
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