IMA declares nationwide ‘white alert’ against obstruction to cremation of doctors

NEW DELHI, Apr 20: Taking serious note of obstruction to cremation of doctors who died in the line of duty, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has declared a nationwide ‘white alert’ on 22 April.
The IMA has sent instructions to all its state units, asking all doctors and hospitals to light a candle as protest and vigil at 9 pm of 22 April.
Warning of retaliatory measures if cremations are obstructed, the IMA said, “The state governments concerned are better warned to perform their constitutional duties as expected. Failing which, the IMA has no option but to resort to drastic steps to protect the rights of the medical profession.”
It termed it a matter of great concern that the doctors who died in the line of duty should be treated “shabbily and in such an uncivilized manner.”
The IMA highlighted how doctors, nurses and healthcare workers of the country have been sent to fight against Covid-19 without PPE, and said “they are dying young, defending their people.”
“If the value of such services is not realized, the easiest thing for the doctor community will be to sit at home. The bigger sufferers will be the community. Already all interventions have been withdrawn. If more services are going to be withheld for non-medical reasons, it will be unfortunate,” it said.
“IMA has maintained utmost restraint and patience in spite of extreme provocations. Doctors have been abused, beaten up, denied entry and residence. Obstruction to cremation is the last straw that IMA can bear. If dignity is denied even in death, our patience and restraint lose their value. Denial of dignity in death is the ultimate sacrilege,” the IMA said, and demanded a special central law against violence on doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and hospitals.
If the government fails to enact a central law against violence on doctors and hospitals even after the ‘white alert’, the IMA said it would declare a ‘black day’ on 23 April. All the doctors in the country will work wearing black badges on the day.
“Further decisions will be taken if suitable steps are not taken by the government even after black day,” the IMA said.