Doctors, students to observe token strike
New Delhi: Scores of medical students and resident doctors of several hospitals across the country are set to observe a token strike tomorrow, over some of their demands regarding the National Medical Commission Bill not being accepted by the government.
The stir called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) would be held for two hours from 12 noon to 2 pm. Healthcare services at multiple hospitals are likely to be affected briefly.
In Delhi, resident and junior doctors and medical students will hold a peaceful protest in front of the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS).
Besides, protests will be held across India and a large number of doctors and medical students are set to hold rallies in many districts.
The Bill still remains "anti-poor, anti-federal, anti-democratic and lacks national character", the IMA has alleged.
The Bill does not address the issues of DNB (Diplomat of National Board) and practical difficulties with common medical entrance test NEET and foreign graduates.
The Cabinet has apparently agreed to four of the 10 demands put up by the IMA in connection with the Bill, the association said in a statement.
Removing the clause for separate Exit Examination and to have a common final year MBBS examination, amendment to drop the provision of bridge course for AYUSH doctors and subsequent registration to practice modern medicine and introduction of a new punitive clause for quacks and unqualified persons for practising modern medicine were welcomed by the IMA.
"Although, the Cabinet-approved draft of NMC Bill has marginally increased the state representation and control of the government over 50% of the fee levied, IMA feels that these are cosmetic in nature and the Bill still remains anti-poor, anti-federal, non representative and undemocratic," said Secretary General of IMA R N Tandon.
He expressed concern about the unaddressed major issues such as token presence of elected members, sub-optimal representation to state governments and health universities and the lack of autonomy of the National Medical Commission itself.
The doctors' body has also decided to come out with a health policy for the benefit of the community and fraternity and to support those parties and candidates, who accept it. At the meeting of the State Working Committee of IMA Karnataka State Branch on April 8 at Raichur, the national president will launch this policy, it said.
The Cabinet on March 28 approved amendments to the NMC Bill including removing the contentious provision of "bridge course", which would have allowed practitioners of alternative medicines to pursue allopathy.
The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved that the final MBBS examination would be held as a common examination throughout the country, and would serve as an an exit test, to be called the National Exit Test (NEXT).
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