GUWAHATI, Oct 11: Gauhati High Court has sought a response from the Assam government with concrete proposals in regard to providing compensation and social security to doctors and other frontline health workers who are exposed to serious risks while discharging their professional duties, especially during a pandemic.
The High Court Bench of Justice N. Kotiswar Singh heard the pleas praying for a scheme dealing with social security, financial assistance and compensation of doctors and frontline health workers.
The state government apprised the court of a scheme, providing treatment, financial assistance and compensation.
However, counsel for the petitioner, Sneha Kalita argued that the said scheme is of general nature, more particularly for economically weaker sections of the society and not specifically meant for doctors who are victims of assaults during COVID.
The counsel also drew the attention of the court regarding a notification dated February 1, 2019, issued by the political (A) department, Assam government providing for payment of compensation in respect of the victims of acid attack, lynching, mob violence, witch-hunting, rape, sexual assault, etc.
The said scheme has been prepared under the Assam Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012 which is relatable to Section 357A of the CrPC.
The counsel submitted that if the government also prepared a similar scheme for providing compensation and social security in respect of doctors and other frontline health workers who are exposed to serious risks, while discharging their professional duties, especially during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, “that would substantially take care of some of the grievances of the doctors and the healthcare workers.”
The court therefore asked the Assam government to examine the aspect, file a response and come up with “certain concrete proposals on the next date (November 23, 2021) of listing the case.