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IMA Calls Off Strike As Govt Sends Medical Commission Bill To Standing Committee

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 2 , 2018 , 15:14 IST

The Indian Medical Association has called off its 12-hour nation-wide strike in protest of the National Medical Commission Bill that it had launched at 6 AM on Tuesday after assurance from the government that the concerned bill would be sent to a standing committee. 

"The Medical Commission bill to be sent to standing committee," confirmed Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar in the Lok Sabha.

OPD (Out-Patient Department) services of private hospitals across the nation were impacted by the strike, although emergency and critical services will remain open.

"The NMC Bill in the present form is not acceptable. This bill is anti-poor, anti-people, non-representative, undemocratic and anti-federal in character. The IMA headquarter hereby declares closure of all routine services for 12 hours from 6am to 6pm across the country," newly-appointed IMA national president Dr Ravi Wankhedkar said.

The former president of IMA said Dr K K Aggarwal also slammed the proposed bill.

Image result for Dr K K Aggarwal

"The Medical Council of India is a representative body of the medical profession in India. Any registered medical practitioner in the country can contest the election and every qualified doctor can vote. Abolishing a democratic institution and replacing it with a body in which a majority is nominated by the government, is certainly a retrograde step," Dr K K Aggarwal said.

Declaring Tuesday as a "Black Day" the IMA has been strongly opposing the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which they say would "cripple" the functioning of medical professionals by making them completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators. The NMC Bill also proposes to allow graduates of alternative medicine fields to practice allopathic medicine after completing a "bridge course".

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The Union Health Ministry in response to the doctor's strike has written to all Centre-run hospitals, including Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia, AIIMS and Lady Hardinge Medical College to make arrangements so that patient care and emergency services can be run smoothly.

IMA members have reportedly conveyed their concerns over the bill to Union Health Minister J P Nadda and also reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging them to redraft the bill.