Doctors to observe nation-wide strike today against the NMC Bill

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Healthcare services at many private hospitals in the country are likely to be hit as the Indian Medical Association has called for suspending routine services for 12 hours to protest a Bill seeking to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body.

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday, seeks to replace the MCI and also proposes allowing practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and Ayurveda, practice allopathy after completing a “bridge course”.

“It has come to the notice that the Indian Medical Association (IMA) would be on one day strike on 2.1.2018…. Since the strike may involve a large number of medical professionals, and it is anticipated that there would be inconvenience to patient care services in hospitals… it is requested that all necessary measures may be taken to ensure that patient health care and patient services are run smoothly,” said the Centre’s advisory.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), which has been strongly opposing the NMC bill saying it will “cripple” the functioning of medical professionals by making them completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators, has declared tomorrow a “Black Day”.

“The NMC Bill in the present form is not acceptable. This Bill is anti-poor, anti-people, non-representative, undemocratic and anti-federal in character.

Dr. K K Aggarwal, the former president of the IMA, said they have already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the health minister urging them to redraft the Bill and rectify some of its provisions to protect the interest of the medical practitioners.

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