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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Govt doctors in Delhi refuse to budge against NMC, strike enters third day

Doctors at Delhi government hospitals resumed emergency duties Friday evening but have not indicated whether they will call of their strike against the National Medical Commission which entered the thirds day on Saturday.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2019 14:05 IST
Doctors holding placards shout slogans  against National Medical Commission at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
Doctors holding placards shout slogans against National Medical Commission at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

Services at government hospitals in Delhi were affected for the third day in a row on Saturday as nearly 20,000 resident doctors and medical students continued their strike against the National Medical Commission (NMC). With tomorrow being Sunday, the patients will be able to consult doctors only on Monday if the strike is called off.

However, to ensure that the patients at least receive proper emergency care, the doctors resumed emergency duties Friday evening.

The doctors have been protesting the NMC since Thursday, when the Rajya Sabha passed the bill to regulate medical education. Some doctors had been detained from outside Parliament where they were protesting on Thursday.

On Friday, union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and senior officials from the ministry met a delegation of doctors to assuage their concerns.

“While we appreciate the gesture of the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in attempting to explain and clear our apprehensions regarding the controversial provisions in the NMC Bill 2019 cleared by the Rajya Sabha, we regret to inform that many of our concerns pertaining to medical fraternity have not been adequately addressed,” read a letter from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) resident doctors association, one of the three main associations leading the protest.

The doctors are still concerned that once the community health workers are given a license, the government will not be able to ensure where they practice.

“While the present law enforcing agencies in the respective states fail to prevent quackery, given the judicial backlog in our country, how will the central government ensure that the community health providers will restrict to limited practice only, health and law enforcement being essentially state subjects?” the letter said. The doctors also question the vague term “persons connected with the modern scientific medical profession.”

The second concern the doctors had was about the National Exit Test. “The logic behind making the final MBBS Examination as the criteria of entry into G courses is unfounded. The contention that the student spending most of the time in coaching classes during internship rather than developing clinical skills is still looming if the candidate has not scored well in the NEXT in the first attempt,” the letter read.

The AIIMS resident doctors association is also concerned that this will take away the autonomy of designing their own curriculum from institutes like AIIMS, PGIMER which will have to align the courses according to NEXT.

First Published: Aug 03, 2019 14:05 IST