National Medical Commission Bill passed in Parliament, IMA calls for strike
The controversial National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2019 has been cleared by the parliament on Monday. The bill aims to replace the graft-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI).
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, four days after Rajya Sabha passed it with amendments.
Reacting to its passage, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for a strike on August 8 to protest against certain provisions of the Bill.
It said the medical students will continue their strike across the country under IMA Medical Students Network.
One of the main contentions against the Bill is that it proposes a common entrance exam- National Exit Test (NEXT)- which could be treated as the final year exam for the undergraduate course, as the licentiate exam for a career in medicine, and an entrance exam for post graduate courses in the country. It will be used to screen students graduating from foreign countries.
The other problem is that it allows ‘limited access to practice medicine’ for people connected with modern scientific medicine mid-level community health providers that students feel will give rise to quackery.
“The call is for all the modern medicine doctors to leave their work place across the sectors at all levels,” according to a statement by the IMA.
The doctors’ body has also called for demonstrations and hunger strikes at its local branches and urged medical students to boycott classes and proclaim solidarity with the IMA.
On Sunday, resident doctors of AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital had called off their strike and resumed duties after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan assured them that their concerns over the NMC Bill will be duly addressed.