A group of private hospitals have moved Supreme Court seeking direction to government to take " immediate and necessary action against the perpetrators indulging in violence against medical professionals, medicare service and causing damage to the Clinical Establishments."
The bench of justices N V Ramana and Ajay Rastogi on Friday issued notice and sought response from the Centre.
Senior Advocate K Subramanian appeared for the petitioner association.
Under the banner of Association of Healthcare Providers (India) (AHPI) Tamil Nadu Chapter, 56 private hospitals from the state have sought court's direction to the Government of India to enact a law to create a separate offence for violence against doctors and their establishments.
The petitioner association said " The Prevention of Violence Against Medicare Persons and Institutions Acts has failed to address the issue.
According to the petition, 'meager Government spending on health care has resulted in poor infrastructure and human resource crunch in government hospitals.
"Only 1.3 percent of the GDP is directed towards health care in India. As per the Universal Health Coverage NHP(NationalHealthPolicy)2017, four(4%) percent of GDP should be allocated for health. This data does not reflect that health is apriority for the Country. As per data given in the plea, there is only one government allopathic doctor for every 10,189 people, one government hospital bed for every 2,046 people and one State-run hospital for every 90,343 people. India has only 10 Lakh doctors working in government and private sectors", the plea said.
Citing World Health Organization ( WHO) recommendation, the plea said the doctor-patient ratio should be 1:1000. Which means India needs another five lakh doctors to bridge the gap.
Violence against health service providers is only a manifestation of this malady, it also said.
The small and medium private health care establishments, which provide the bulk of health care services,are isolated,disorganized and vulnerable to violence.