Doctors call off strike after Parliament refers NMC Bill to standing panel in Vijayawada

The Parliament on Sunday referred the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, to a standing committee, resulting in thousands of doctors boycotting outpatient services in protest of the controve

Published: 03rd January 2018 02:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2018 08:35 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Parliament on Sunday referred the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, to a standing committee, resulting in thousands of doctors boycotting outpatient services in protest of the controversial bill calling off their stir. The committee has been asked to submit its report before the upcoming budget session in February.

The doctors who observed ‘Black Day’ on Tuesday said the decision was indicative of their protest’s victory. “Now that the Bill has been referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, we will have more time to represent our case effectively. This is a partial victory for now,” said Dr Rasik Sanghvi, general secretary of the Vijayawada Chapter of the Indian Medical Association.

Earlier in the day, about 500 medical students and doctors staged a dharna and set an effigy on fire at the Siddhartha Government Medical College here, terming the bill “draconian”. “Not only is the NMC Bill, 2017, an anti-patient legislation, it will also pave the way for widespread corruption,” a doctor said.
The medicos TNIE spoke to were of the opinion that the Bill which plans to do away with the Medical Council of India (MCI) and permit ayurveda, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy (AYUSH) practitioners to practice modern medicine after completing a bridge course.

The doctors also found fault with the bill as the NMC would control the seat allotment in all medical colleges. “This will have irreparable impact on medical students. Replacing MCI will have several negative ramifications and the state will not have a chance to represent its problems,” a medico explained. In Guntur too, doctors staged a demonstration at the Government General Hospital. They said the quality of health care would dip if non-allopathic doctors started practising modern medicine without requisite skills and experience. However, no emergency service was disrupted in the cities. “We attended emergency cases. No untoward incident has been reported,” the IMA members said.

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