IMA protests: No non-emergency services in hospitals

 Doctors and students from Indian Medical Association (IMA) shout slogans as they stage a protest against the National Medical Commission Bill (NMC). (PTI Photo)

Outpatient and non-emergency services across hospitals in Karnataka will be suspended on Wednesday as the Indian Medical Association has given a call for a nation-wide protest. 

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for a strike opposing the National Medical Commission Bill which was cleared in the Lok Sabha on Monday. 

Dr Annadani M Meti, state president, Indian Medical Association, Karnataka said that the there will be a closure of all non-emergency services for 24 hours. 
"All hospitals under the IMA will participate. There will be a closure from 6 am on Wednesday to 6 am on Thursday. Only emergency cases will be attended to" he said. 

He said that the call for a protest came after repeated memorandums were sent to the union government against the National Medical Commission Bill 2019. 

"We have various contentions including the fact that there is no pan India representation. We already have the Medical Council of India which is overseeing all aspects pertaining to medical education. From syllabus to exams, it is taken care of," said Dr Meti. 

He said that with the proposed National Medical Commission Bill, there will be the more bureaucratic representation and very minimal say for those from the medical fraternity. 

"Those from a non-medical background cannot decide the future of medical students. This will lead to the privatisation of the medical education and corporatisation of hospitals. NMC is not pro-poor," he said. 

The IMA has also condemned the proposal to have a bridge course for Ayush doctors which is believed to give them a lateral entry into allopathic treatment. "How can you set such dual standards. With this, only the urban masses will get access to quality treatment. It will also kill the Ayush systems by giving it no room for research" said Dr Meti.  

In June, the IMA had called for a nationwide strike against incidents of violence on doctors.  

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