Doctors threaten indefinite strike from April 2 if government doesn't amend National Medical Commission Bill

The Indian Medical Association has also rejected a recent parliamentary standing committee report on the bill, that seeks to replace the apex medical regulator Medical Council of India with a new body

Published: 26th March 2018 01:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2018 01:04 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Indian Medical Association, after a maha panchayat in New Delhi on Sunday in which about 25,000 doctors and medical students participated, has declared that doctors across the country will go on an indefinite strike from April 2 if the government does not remove controversial clauses from the National Medical Commission Bill.

The association has also rejected a recent parliamentary standing committee report on the bill, that seeks to replace the apex medical regulator Medical Council of India with a new body, saying it has proposed only cosmetic changes.

The two main issues, IMA--the largest association of private doctors-- is agitating about the inclusion of a bridge course to let AYUSH doctors double up as modern medicine practitioners after following a short-term course in the bill and lesser representation of elected doctors.

IMA president Ravi Wankhedkar said that the government policy at present seems totally against quality modern medicine.

Worse still, the changes proposed by the parliamentary committee do not address any issue, he said.

“The changes suggested are cosmetic in nature. Dissolving the autonomous body and appointing the new commission will be against the welfare of the medical professionals. Practising homeopathy and AYUSH in its purest form and not mixing it with modern medicine practise will be better healthcare among the masses,” said Wankhedkar.

“The report is deceptive to such an extent that it will open up the floodgates to allow backdoor entry to crosspathy thereby promoting quackery legally. Even after the cosmetic amendments, the core issues still remain where it is.” 

Dr Vinay Aggarwal, co-ordinator of the mahapanchayat said that the proposed bill is a pro-private management bill which will lead to widespread corruption.

“Medical education in the country will become expensive placing the lower socio-economic groups in great disadvantage. Rural healthcare is bound to improve only by starting new Government medical colleges and wisely deploying the medical manpower,” said Dr R.N Tandon, honorary secretary general, IMA.

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