AIIMS doctors protest against NMC Bill

Resident doctors and students at the AIIMS here wore black badges to work on Saturday in a symbolic protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which, they alleged, was "anti-poor". (File Photo)

Resident doctors and students at the AIIMS here wore black badges to work on Saturday in a symbolic protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which, they alleged, was "anti-poor".

Doctors and medical students across the country have been opposing the Bill, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 22 by Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Residents doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were seen wearing black badges in ICUs,  emergency block, wards and operation theatres on Saturday.

Protests were being organised in various parts of the country against the Bill on the call of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

As part of the protest action, copies of the proposed legislation were burnt outside the IMA headquarters in Delhi and its 1,700 branch offices on July 25, while students in many medical colleges observed hunger strike.

The IMA will hold a "Delhi Andolan" on July 29, which includes a march by the medical fraternity from Nirman Bhavan to Jantar Mantar, to demonstrate the imperative need for amendments in the Bill.

The march will culminate in a Chhatra Sansad (students' parliament), IMA national president Santanu Sen said earlier.

The association has said the government failed to address concerns raised by the medical fraternity. 

The Bill, if passed in its present form, will only legalise quackery by empowering the community health providers to practice medicine, endangering the lives of people, it has alleged. 

It claimed that under the new legislation medical education in the country will become expensive, placing the lower socio-economic groups in great disadvantage.

The Bill provides for setting up of a National Medical Commission (NMC) in place of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and repeal of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

The Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) has also threatened to launch a nationwide indefinite stir in protest against the Bill. 

It has written to President Ram Nath Kovind urging him to advise the central government to withdraw the "black law".

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