Doctors strike on Wednesday to protest NMC bill

Police detain the doctors and students of Indian Medical Association (IMA) during a protest against the National Medical Commission Bill (NMC) outside Nirman Bhavan in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has given a call for a 24-hour withdrawal of non-essential services across the country on Wednesday to protest the passage of the National Medical Commission (NMC) bill, which seeks to replace the graft-tainted Medical Council of India.

The IMA strike call has exempted emergency, casualty, ICU and other related services..

The IMA, that has over three lakh doctors on its rolls, has called for demonstrations and hunger strikes at its local branches and urged medical students to boycott classes in support of the strike call.

The doctors are anguished because the NMC bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday, has provision to grant limited license to community health providers (CHPs) to practice modern medicine.

“This will only legalise quackery and endanger the lives of people,” IMA secretary general R V Ashokan said.

The doctors are also opposed to a clause that empowers the Union government to override any suggestion by the National Medical Commission.

The IMA is also opposing other provisions in the bill, including the decision to introduce NEXT and scrapping NEET-PG and regulation of fees by the NMC for 50% seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.

On Tuesday, representatives of FORDA and AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association held an emergency meeting to decide the course of action against the "undemocratic and non-federal" bill.

They said that they agreed to oppose the bill in its current form.

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