NEW DELHI: The IMA on Wednesday said it has deferred its August 8 strike against the National Medical Commission Bill to a later date after receiving "certain clarifications and assurances" from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
The India Medical Association said in a statement the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, heavy floods in the northeast, Karnataka, Maharashtra and other parts, as well as the death of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, was taken into consideration to postpone the strike.
The doctors' body appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to withhold assent until the "dangers to the health of the nation" accruing from several sections of the bill are addressed.
The bill proposes to replace the Medical Commission of India with a National Medical Commission to regulate all aspects of medical education, profession and institutions.
But doctors say some sections in the bill, unless amended, will deteriorate medical education and degrade healthcare services.
IMA said its delegation recently met Vardhan and "in view of certain clarifications and assurances given by him and considering the prevailing situation" in Jammu and Kashmir, floods and Swaraj's demise, it has deferred its call for withdrawal of services to a later date.
It also said there is a need for further dialogue and creating awareness about hazards of certain provisions of NMC Bill.
The IMA, however, said it extends support to medical students and resident doctors and will continue to add momentum to the movement till "justice is rendered".
"IMA has decided an aggressive public campaign against Section 32, 50 and 51 which legitimises quackery and promotes crosspathy, Section 10.1 (i) on capping of fee in undergraduate and post graduate medical education on Section 15 the lingering uncertainty of the career of medical students and Section 29.3 and 28.7 on quality of medical education," it added in the statement.
"The struggle of IMA against the deleterious clauses of NMC Bill 2019 will continue till the medical education and the health of the nation are out of harm's way," it added.
It said it will consult all stakeholders - especially medical students and resident doctors - on the further course of action.
Medical students of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences burnt copies of the bill and staged a protest in the campus on Tuesday.