Pune: To mark ‘Dhikkar Day’, Indian Medical Association (IMA) members across the country went on a symbolic one-day strike on Saturday. It was to oppose the to-be tabled National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill. Around 4,300 doctors with IMA Pune chapter supported the strike against the Bill which is expected to be tabled on July 30.
In a statement, IMA National President Dr Ravi Wankhedkar said that withdrawal of non-emergency services was only a warning signal to the government. IMA will intensify its agitation if the government tries to bulldoze this pro-rich, anti-democratic, anti-federal NMC Bill which will promote corruption.
“The withdrawal of non-emergency services affected patients in almost all major states, especially in tier 2,3,4 cities and towns. We want the government to reconsider the current bill. We appeal to the prime minister to intervene to protect the interests of marginalised and underprivileged sections of the society,” said Wankhedkar. He further pointed out that 50 per cent of the seats in private medical colleges will go to the highest bidder.
“There is a necessity for the community to wake up. The cost of medical education in the country will escalate manyfold and will become unaffordable to even the people of the upper middle class. A taste of what was to come was seen in Uttarakhand and Maharashtra where the management raised the fee to around Rs 25 lakhs per year for MBBS,” said Wankhedkar.
Speaking more about the Bill, Dr Padma Iyer, President of IMA Pune chapter, said that only 5 states will be represented in NMC at any point of time. The other 24 will be unrepresented.
“The state medical councils which are sovereign bodies through the enactment of state legislatures will come directly under NMC. The universities do not have a representation in NMC. One per state will be represented in an advisory body called Medical Advisory Council,” said Iyer.
She further added that unscientific mixing of systems will endanger the lives of patients. “The Bill talks about crosspathy stating that it will provide separate registration and bridge courses for AYUSH practitioners to enable them to practice modern medicine,” added Iyer.