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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

IMA strike call will not affect healthcare services in Delhi

The decision not to join in the strike call was taken by the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) and the AIIMS resident doctors association late last night.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2019 11:18 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
All the doctors at government hospitals will stage protests and work with black badges and black ribbons on Wednesday.
All the doctors at government hospitals will stage protests and work with black badges and black ribbons on Wednesday. ((Diwakar Prasad/ Hindustan Times))
         

Healthcare services in Delhi are likely to be unaffected on Wednesday as none of the government hospitals in Delhi have joined the nation-wide call for strike given by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to protest the National Medical Council bill.

“We are all against the NMC bill, but we have decided to not go on strike until absolutely necessary. This was decided to ensure that patient care is not compromised,” said Dr Saikat Jena, president of the resident doctors’ association at Lok Nayak hospital.

All the doctors at government hospitals will stage protests and work with black badges and black ribbons on Wednesday. The decision not to join in the strike call was taken by the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) and the AIIMS resident doctors association late last night.

“If the NMC bill is tabled in its current form in the Rajya Sabha without any amendments, we will withdraw all essential and non-essential services from the hospitals,” read a letter by the AIIMS resident doctors’ association after the meeting.

Some private clinics and nursing homes have decided to support the strike and shut their OPDs, but services aren’t going to be affected in most major hospitals in Delhi.

“We are not against the NMC, but certain provisions of it like having more elected members. We have written to the health ministry with our concerns,” said Dr Girish Tyagi, president of the Delhi Medical Association.

“Across India, we have received good support for the strike, especially from Kerala Chattisgarh, Bihar Maharashtra. PGI Chandigarh has also decided to join the strike,” said Dr RV Asokan, secretary general of IMA.

The key contention against the bill is that it proposes a common exam — National Exit Test (NEXT) — as the final year exam for the undergraduate course, a licentiate exam for a career in medicine, as an entrance test for postgraduate courses, and a screening test for students graduating from foreign countries.

Section 45 of the bill also threatens the autonomy of the NMC, the doctors say. It allows the Central government to override any recommendation or suggestion by the NMC and give directions to the NMC and the autonomous boards regarding policy matters.

The doctors are also concerned about the reduction in the number of elected representatives from 75% in the Medical Council of India to 20% in NMC.

Fee regulation for about 50% of seats is also being resisted. “It will promote corruption in the long run. Why should only 50% seats be regulated in private medical colleges and deemed universities when earlier it was 85% by the state government. The clause lacks clarity and the health minister should have explained it properly,” said Asokan.

First Published: Jul 31, 2019 11:17 IST

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