Mumbai doctors join stir against passage of NMC Bill in LS
Major hospitals in the city ran their essential services and also their out-patient departments (OPDs).Updated: Aug 01, 2019, 05:08 IST
Hundreds of doctors and private practitioners across Mumbai and Thane on Wednesday joined the 24-hour nationwide protest against the passage of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The NMC bill sets out to regulate medical education in the country.
The functioning of public hospitals and medical colleges was not affected by the strike.
Major hospitals in the city ran their essential services and also their out-patient departments (OPDs). In Thane, however, many doctors kept OPDs, clinics, dispensaries, diagnostic centres, X-ray units and sonography centres across the city closed.
The strike was called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which is the country’s apex body representing the medical fraternity with around three lakh members.
The IMA opposed to section 32 of the NMC Bill, saying it is draconian and will encourage quackery. According to it, the term community health provider has been vaguely defined and it will allow anyone connected with modern medicine to get registered in the NMC and practise modern medicine. “How can a community health provider be allowed to practise modern medicine after being trained for just six months? The bill will allow nurses, pharmacists and other practitioners to practise modern medicine and prescribe independently,” said Dr Hozie Kapadia, president of IMA Maharashtra.
The IMA is also opposed to the bill as 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.
“How can the same exam can be a licensing exam as well as a postgraduate entrance exam?” said Kapadia.
Oral exams will be conducted in English under NEXT. “The oral examination, which is a major part of the medical exam, will be prone to be biased because spoken English will reveal the identity of the students,” said Kapadia.