IMA members will observe ‘All India Protest Day’ on January 4

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 2 January 2019

“The bill was passed by Lok Sabha on December 20. This bill has been brought about while the government of India is still engaged in dialogue with IMA and has in principle agreed to cap the compensation as in drug trials. This has shaken the confidence of the fraternity in the dialogue with the government,” said Dr Sen.

PUNE: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) will be observing an ‘All India Protest Day’ on January 4 against the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 which was recently passed by the Lok Sabha. Members of the IMA fear this bill will increase litigation against many small and medium hospitals.

The ‘All India Protest Day’ will be observed to protest against the three bills which are seen as a significant threat to the medical profession, that is the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018, the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 and the Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

In an official statement, Dr Santanu Sen, National President of the IMA said the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is being repealed and replaced by the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018.

“The bill was passed by Lok Sabha on December 20. This bill has been brought about while the government of India is still engaged in dialogue with IMA and has in principle agreed to cap the compensation as in drug trials. This has shaken the confidence of the fraternity in the dialogue with the government,” said Dr Sen.

He added that as a result of this drastic upward revision, litigations will increase and many small and medium hospitals will become unviable to run.

Dr RV Asokan, Honorary Secretary General of the IMA said there is a need to create awareness among other members of the IMA.

“Local branches have to sensitise the Rajya Sabha MP about the catastrophic nature of the bill. This is urgent and has to be done before the bill goes to the Rajya Sabha. The All India Protest Day will be observed to protest against the three bills which have a significant threat to the medical profession namely, the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018, the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 and the Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018,” said Dr Asokan.

DEFENSIVE PRACTICE
IMA National President Dr Santanu Sen said, “Doctors are being harassed and are stressed out as such even under the existing act. Defensive practice has affected patient care and safety. Healthcare cost has risen due to mindless litigations. On the one hand, the  government is concerned about the catastrophic healthcare cost and on the other hand, the same government indirectly changes the rules of the game. What has to be realised is that such moves hit people directly. More and more people will go below the poverty line every year.”

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