Doctors affiliated to the Coimbatore branch of the Indian Medical Association on Monday staged a protest in the city on Monday urging the Union Government to look into their demands.
L.P. Thangavelu, president-elect, State Chapter of the Indian Medical Association, said that the IMA was opposed to the formation of the National Council for Human Resources in Health by dissolving various councils. If a member or head of a council or statutory organisation was corrupt, the right way was to remove the corrupt and strengthen the organisation but not dissolve it.
He said that bureaucrats would run the NCHRH and this would not do good for neither medical education nor medical practitioners.
Dr. Thangavelu said that the Government must give up its plans to conduct examination for those who have completed four-and-half years’ medical education and a year of training. The examination would be best suited for those who complete medical education abroad.
He urged the Government to give up the move to start three-and-half year medical courses to have doctors serve in rural areas. It should, instead, concentrate on eradicating quackery. The other demand the doctor made was on giving up the move to bring in the clinical establishment act.
Dr. Thangavelu said that many of the 235 hospitals or clinics in and around Coimbatore expressed their solidarity by not offering outpatient and elective surgery services on Monday.
The government hospitals across the district on Monday witnessed a marginal increase in number of persons taken outpatient medical services following disruption of outpatient treatment in private hospitals from dawn-to-dusk owing to strike called by Indian Medical Association.
The striking doctors submitted a petition to District Collector M. Mathivanan to highlight their opposition to the proposed National Council of Human Resources for Health (NCHRH), Clinical Establishment Act, and planned introduction of Bachelor of Rural Health Care (BRHC) course.
The IMA also wanted revival of Medical Council of India. which was dissolved and replaced by ‘autocratically appointed Board of Governors’.
“We are against the NCHRH as its constitution will make the powers of existing councils that governs medical profession/education redundant. Moreover, it is going to be managed by nominees of the Government not of elected persons from the medical profession,” IMA (Tirupur branch) president P. Ravichandran told reporters here.
On the BRHC course, Dr. Ravichandran said that the proposed three-and-a-half year course would only encourage quackery as such short-term qualifications produces only half-baked doctors for rural areas.
“Are rural people worse than animals considering that veterinarians and engineers are trained for a minimum of four-and-a-half years,” he added.
The doctors termed the Clinical Establishment Act as “noose around the neck” since the said Act, according to them, will not let any doctor with minimum financial resources to practice individually.
“The Act stipulates greater investments even for small clinics,” they said.