Outpatient services partially hit in city

Outpatient services partially hit in city

Outpatient services in several city hospitals remained open on Tuesday although some healthcare facilities shut them until 6 pm in  protest against the National Medical Commission Bill.  

"The protest is voluntary. We are waiting for a response from the government. If the bill is passed, then the protest will be intensified," said Dr H N Ravindra, president, Indian Medical  Association, Karnataka.

Dr R Ravindra, the secretary of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, said the closure of OPDs was voluntary.

While Dr Bharath Kumar, the president of the Karnataka Medical Students' and Youth Doctors' Association, said:  "It was a short notice from the IMA. As of now, hospitals can choose to close or shut outpatient services. We are waiting to know if the amendments will favour doctors.".

Manipal Hospital, Sakra Hospital, Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital among others kept their outpatient services open.

Doctors  at Fortis Hospital wore black badges to show solidarity  with the protesters but  the hospital's outpatient services remained open.

In a press statement, the Department of Health and Family Welfare instructed government doctors to work in full strength. It also recalled the medical practitioners who had gone on leave.

The NMC Bill, tabled in Parliament on Friday, seeks to replace the Medical Council of India and allows practitioners of alternative systems of medicine, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, to practise allopathy after completing a bridge course.

Dr Kumar said the exit exam introduced in the bill was  unfair. To clear another exam after four years of graduation and exams would be a burden on students, he added.

Doctors also raised other concerns such as the introduction of a commission of nominated members to allow private institutions to fix fees  for 60% seats among others.  

"The nominated members are going to be obligated to the government, not the public," said Dr B Veeranna,  secretary, IMA, Bengaluru.

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