IMA calls protest against bills relating to health sector

IMA calls protest against bills relating to health sector

New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association has called a nation-wide protest on Friday against three bills in Parliament, which it said, would "change the profile" of the medical profession and healthcare sector in India.

The protest has been called against the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, the Indian Medical Council (amendments) Bill, 2018, and the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018. The health body assured that the medical services will not be affected by its protest. "The three bills have the potential to change the profile of the medical profession and healthcare in India. It is bound to affect patients at large. "The All India Protest Day on January 4 by the IMA is to invite the attention of Parliament and the nation," national president, IMA, Santanu Sen, said.

Local and state branches of the IMA have been asked to observe the day to protest against the bills. The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill is "anti-poor, anti-people and anti-federal". If it is allowed to pass, it will have "unforeseen consequences" not only on the healthcare sector but also on the federal structure of the country, Sen claimed.

The bill, which aims to overhaul medical education in the country, will give all authority to the government of India. If adopted, it would repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, he said.

It proposes that fee for 50 per cent seats in medical colleges will be regulated by the government.

The reservation of medical seats, up to 50 per cent, for managements is denial of equitable opportunities and is certainly anti-people and pro-rich, Sen said.

Currently, several states have a fee fixing committee, but after implementation of the NMC Bill, they would lose their power to regulate fee, the IMA official said.

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