Doctors withdraw strike after govt. sends NMC Bill to Parliamentary Standing Committee

Members of the IMA Telangana State, protest against the proposed NMC bill in Hyderabad

Members of the IMA Telangana State, protest against the proposed NMC bill in Hyderabad

Doctors, who went on a 12-hour nationwide strike (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) on Tuesday in protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, withdrew their stir by afternoon after the government referred the Bill to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar informed the Lok Sabha that "after taking into consideration the demands of several members of the House and medical fraternity, the National Medical Commission Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee."

 

Doctors say the Bill promotes ''crosspathy'' (allowing those who have studied alternate medicine to practice allopathy), eases procedures for private medical colleges and will be dominated by the government.

The Bill, tabled in the Lok Sabha, is anti-people and anti-patient, says Roy Abraham Kallivayalil, secretary general of the World Psychiatric Association.

Here are the latest updates:

The Tamil Nadu branch of the Indian Medical Association, in a statement, said: "The Central government has accepted All India Medical Association's request and has referred the Bill to the Standing Committee. Hence, we are temporarily suspending the protest. We thank everyone for their support."

The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association president K. Senthil said their agitation has been withdrawn.

OPD shutdown call receives partial response in Bengaluru

The OPD shutdown call given by the Indian Medical Association received partial response from hospitals in Bengaluru. While smaller hospitals such as Suguna, Panacea and Chord Road Hospital closed their out-patient departments (OPDs), larger hospitals such as Narayana Health, Manipal, M S Ramaiah and Mission Hospitals such as St Marthas’, CSI, Baptist, among others functioned normally.

The OPD services in government hospitals remained unaffected. In fact, the patient load increased by 5% to 10%.

Beneficial to medical profession: Health Minister

On Tuesday , the government maintained in the Rajya Sabha that the Bill that sought to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body would be beneficial to the medical profession. Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said talks were on with the IMA to clear their doubts. “This is beneficial to the medical profession,” he said. “We have heard them and also presented our views,” he added.

Earlier, PG medical students in Chennai planned a demonstration in the evening at the Madras Medical College.

A board in a private hospital in Erode reads out patient services will not function on Tuesday due to all India medical professionals strike opposing the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017. 

A board in a private hospital in Erode reads out patient services will not function on Tuesday due to all India medical professionals strike opposing the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017. 

Maharashtra

Close to 40,000 doctors took part in the strike in Maharashtra.

Dr. Jayesh Lele, national secretary, Hospital Board, IMA, said, “Only emergency cases and those already admitted will be given treatment. The Out-Patient Departments [OPD] won’t function. A majority of the new council members will be government-appointed. Several aspects of the Bill are problematic.”

Karnataka

Ahead of the Black Day proposed to be held across the country on Tuesday opposing the National Medical Commission (NMC), members of the Indian Medical Association and medical students held a demonstration in Hubballi on Monday and submitted a memorandum to the Hubballi tahsildar. KIRAN BAKALE

Members of the Indian Medical Association and medical students stage a demonstration in Hubballi and submit a memorandum to the Hubballi tahsildar. KIRAN BAKALE

 

Most outpatient departments in private hospitals in Karnataka remained shut.

Kerala

The Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) has extended its support to the protest by boycotting outpatient services at government hospitals. IMA functionaries said in a press release on Monday that doctors would not attend outpatient duties from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, casualty and emergency services would be spared.

Tamil Nadu

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Monday urged the Centre to either withdraw the Bil or refer it to a parliamentary standing committee to amend its provisions which, according to him, were at odds with the principle of State autonomy.

Vijayawada

Indian Medical Association members demanding withdrawal of the proposed NMC Bill in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

Indian Medical Association members stage a protest demanding the withdrawal of the proposed NMC Bill in Vijayawada.

 

Members of the Vijayawada chapter of the IMA had staged a dharna last week at the IMA Hall opposing the Bill.

Senior members of the IMA led by Andhra Pradesh office-bearer M.A. Rehman said a “satyagraha” was proposed on the same day last year, but it was put off after the Ministry of Health gave some assurances. In this one year, the Ministry had not done anything, they said.

In a charter of six demands, the IMA demanded the withdrawal of the NMC Bill and suitable amendments to the Indian Medical Council Act continuing its professional autonomy, enacting a Central Act to protect doctors, amendment to the Consumer Protection Act to put a cap on compensation, suitable amendments to the Clinical Establishment Act and the PCPNDT Act and proper implantation of rights to prescribe scheduled drugs exclusively by modern medicine doctors.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 3:01:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/doctors-to-go-on-nationwide-strike-to-protest-national-medical-commission-bill/article22350886.ece