IMA’s countrywide protest: Medicos stage demo in Odisha capital

Bhubaneswar: Several medical students today staged a demonstration near Raj Bhavan in Odisha capital as a part of Indian Medical Association’s call for a 12-hour shutdown of all private hospitals in the country.

The medicos went on a protest march from Power House Chhak to Raj Bhawan Square holding banners and placards.

They will submit a memorandum to the Governor addressed to the President of India.

Notably, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had on Monday called for a 12-hour shutdown of all private hospitals in the country on Tuesday to protest the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).

However, Apollo Hospital, AMRI Hospital and Kalinga Hospital here haven’t joined the strike, sources said.

IMA, which is not a statutory body, has been opposing the Bill to set up the NMC ever since it received the union cabinet clearance earlier last month, and has demanded amendments in it.

Terming the Bill as “anti-people and anti-patient”, the association in a statement has stated that the Bill purported to eradicate corruption is “designed to open the floodgates of corruption”.

“NMC is an anti-poor bill with pro-private management clauses. A bill to regulate the medical education and medical practice without the concurrence of the medical profession will be a disaster,” said a statement from the association.

The bill also has provisions for granting permission to the doctors under Indian systems of medicine, including Ayurveda, to be allowed to practice allopathy after clearing a bridge course.

“Unscientific mixing of systems and empowering of other practitioners through bridge courses will only pave the way for substandard doctors and substandard medical practice. This will seriously impact patient care and patient safety,” said the association in the statement.

It added: “If these practitioners are proposed to be posted in villages, then there is a serious case of discrimination dividing the urban and rural people. Indian doctors with their pristine recognition in international arena will lose their stature and demand.”

IMA has four demands — One elected representative in NMC from the Registered Medical Graduates of every state and no separate registration for AYUSH.

“The minimum qualification to practice modern medicine shall remain MBBS. No bridge courses to MBBS. No Joint Council meetings to formulate them. IMA will facilitate the deployment of 65,000 fresh MBBS graduates graduating every year in Rural Health Services with appropriate working conditions and incentives,” said the statement.

“No licentiate exam after final MBBS examination. IMA proposes common All India Final MBBS examination. Legitimate inspection and appropriate regulation on starting and running a Medical College. 85 per cent Government fixed fees in private Medical Colleges,” said the statement.

(with IANS inputs)

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