Amal Umer Bill 2019 - a bill to ensure immediate treatment of injured
This was the second bill of this nature in last three years. The provincial government had already passed the ‘Sindh Injured Persons (Medical Aid) Bill 2014’ to treat all patients without waiting for police clearance, but the government failed to implement it.
Salient featues of Compulsory Medical Treatment bill
- It will be the duty of hospitals to provide compulsory medical treatment to injured persons on a priority basis.
- No hospital or doctor shall demand any payment for providing compulsory medical treatment or other such medical assistance from victim, if he or she is unable to make payment.
- The cost of compulsory medical treatment shall be borne by the government.
- The injured persons will be shifted to a government hospital immediately after their condition stabilises.
- One of the clauses of the bill reads that if he or she chooses, they may remain in the private hospital subject to paying the charges of the hospital.
- It will be mandatory for hospitals to have and maintain at least two fully equipped and functioning ambulances stationed at the hospital premises at all times while the hospitals also have fully equipped and functional ambulances in case the injured person is to be shifted to another hospital.
- No police officer or any other officer of law enforcement agency shall interfere with the administrating of compulsory treatment or seek or interrogate an injured person while he or she is receiving compulsory medical treatment in a hospital.
- The interrogation shall not take place until the doctor has allowed.
- The injured can be shifted to another hospital unless the hospital to which the injured was first brought is of the opinion that the compulsory medical treatment required cannot be provided due to inadequate medical facilities. Such reasons shall be recorded in writing by the hospital which has to provide transport accompanied by a doctor or a member of the nursing staff.
- Any person who brings an injured person to a hospital will not be harassed by any one including police and law enforcement agencies.
- The hospital to which the victim is brought shall note down the helping person’s name, address and telephone number and obtain a copy of their national identity card or any other proof of identity.
Penalties and punishments
- People or hospitals violating this law will be punishable within imprisonment which may extend to three years or a fine imposed which shall not be less than Rs500,000, or both.
- The one who is in violation or contravention of this law shall be tried by the court on receipt of written complaints from Sindh Healthcare Commission or health department.
- All offense under this act shall be non-cognisable and court at any stage of the proceedings may direct police to arrest the accused.
- In addition, the bill also states that awareness campaigns will regularly be carried out by the health department to educate the public, medical professionals and police officers as well as law enforcement agencies.