Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Thursday said the brutal attacks on doctors and the government not giving priority to the medical fraternity were matters of immediate concern, reported Live Law.

Addressing medical professionals on World Doctors Day at a virtual event, Justice Ramana asked why medical professionals were “at the receiving end for someone else’s failure”.

“It is saddening that our doctors are being brutally attacked while on duty,” said the chief justice. “The medical bodies and concerned agencies in the government have to put their heads together to address these concerns. Only then can we sincerely greet the doctors on the first of July every year.”

In June, the Indian Medical Association held countrywide protests, demanding protection for doctors from violence. The demonstrations came after a mob had assaulted a doctor at a Covid-19 care centre in Assam after a patient died during treatment.

A widely shared video showed the doctor in Assam being beaten up with a metal object. He was also briefly hospitalised.

Justice Ramana on Thursday noted problems like insufficient number of medical professionals, lack of infrastructure, dearth of medicines and outdated technologies. He pointed out how doctors still find it difficult to make a decent living.

“It is saddening to see that good and qualified doctors cannot start a decent hospital of their own and survive,” said the Chief Justice, according to NDTV. “Even after eight to nine years of rigorous learning, doctors struggle to get decent salaries.”

Justice Ramana praised the medical fraternity’s sacrifices and saluted “all the heroes without the cape”. “While the world is still reeling under the devastating impact of the pandemic, our doctors have been tirelessly and selflessly fighting against the deadly pandemic,” the Chief Justice of India added.

During his speech, Ramana also spoke about the physical and emotional toll doctors endure while treating Covid-19 patients.

“When thousands of physically and emotionally vulnerable patients stood isolated in their hospital wards, it was the doctors who kept the hope alive even in the times of despair,” he said. “Unless you see them working personally, you cannot visualise the discomfort of being in PPE kits non-stop for 24 hours in day and sometime even for days together with no rest, proper food.”

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