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IMA's nationwide stir to protest implementation of National Medical Commission Bill begins today

Kolkata: Indian Medical Association (IMA) will launch Bharat Yatra, a nationwide campaign against the implementation of the National Medical Commission Bill from Kolkata on Sunday.
All India Secretary of IMA along with some MPs and state ministers will flag off the IMA Bharat Yatra from in front the house of Dr B C Roy at 9.30 am on Sunday.
"Connect with Society and Consolidate the Fraternity" is the theme of the IMA Yatra. Bharat Yatras will simultaneously be flagged off from other cities including Jammu, lmphal, Ajmer and Dwarka on Sunday.
A nationwide mass contact programme through IMA Bharat Yatra has been planned to reach out to society and the fraternity to highlight the issues of community and profession especially NMC and other long pending issues.
Under this campaign, the leaders of IMA will travel to every nook and corner of the country creating awareness among people about the ill-effects of the National Medical Commission Bill.
All the local branches of the IMA will conduct cycle rallies in their towns on March 11 this year. The campaign which will start from Sunday and will continue for next one month throughout the country.
Four streams of cycle rallies will begin from all directions of the country to converge in Delhi at the Doctors' Mahapanchayat. The issues concerning the medical profession will be placed before the "Mahapanchayat" which will announce its decision and its further course of action.
IMA had strongly opposed the NMC Bill which seeks to replace the existing Medical Council of India (MCI), the highest medical regulating body with the new body — National Medical Commission (NMC). According to the IMA, once the NMC Bill is implemented, it would strengthen the hands of private companies in the health service industry. Medical aspirants will not be able to study medical courses on the basis of their merit and it would help those who can get their wards admitted in MBBS courses against a huge amount of money.
The Bill also seeks to put in place a common entrance exam and licentiate test which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practising licences. The Bill also has a provision for a common entrance exam and licentiate (exit) exam that medical graduates have to pass before practising or pursuing PG courses.
For MBBS, students have to clear NEET and before they step into practice, they must pass the exit exam. The NMC can permit a medical professional to perform surgery or practise medicine without qualifying the National Licentiate Examination, in circumstances that may be specified in regulations.
According to the IMA officials, the Bill which has been sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee has the potential to adversely change the character of medical education and healthcare delivery in this country and it will inflict irreparable damage on public health.
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