Pune: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Pune chapter, along with other city branches of the IMA, staged a protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill by organising cycle rallies in their respective cities. Pune saw around 200 doctors and medical students taking part in this rally from IMA House on Tilak Road between 9:30 am to 11 am on Sunday.
A statement released by the IMA stated that only up to 40 per cent of seats in a private medical college can be regulated by the government. For 60 per cent or more seats, the private colleges will fix the rates, which means the students from economically challenged will be deprived of medical education.
Dr Prakash Marathe, President, IMA, Pune chapter, said the association has opposed the bills due to various reasons.
“This bill is anti-people since it is pro-rich and pro-private management. The cost of medical education and healthcare will rise astronomically. Also, NMC is a pro-private management bill, paving the way for widespread corruption. It removes all the regulations required to start a medical college. Under this bill, no one needs any permission to start a medical college. Also, any private medical college can increase its undergraduate and post-graduate seats by itself,” said Dr Marathe.
The IMA said the bill is also anti-patient since it permits and promotes unscientific mixing of systems of medicine. The statement said there are huge loopholes in the financial penalties, ranging from Rs 5 crore to Rs 100 crore, opening the floodgates of corruption.
Dr Marathe said medical universities do not have a representation in NMC. One per state will be represented in an advisory body called Medical Advisory Council.
Mixing of systems of medicine
† IMA office-bearers noted that the National Medical Commission Bill promotes unscientific mixing of systems of medicine. It closes the gates for Indian Medical Graduates, while it opens the gates for foreign doctors and foreign-educated medical graduates, noted a doctor.