Pune: The members of Indian Medical Association (IMA) have declared a one-day strike across the country on Saturday, July 28. The strike will be held against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which is to be tabled in Parliament. The IMA members have strongly opposed the Bill earlier as well. They have now threatened to intensify the agitation if the Bill is tabled again.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, Secretary of IMA, Maharashtra said that the Bill was expected to be tabled on Thursday but that did not happen.
“The Bill is now expected to be tabled on Monday. So, we have decided to go on a full day strike on Saturday to show the government what the IMA is capable of doing. All private hospital services will be shut on July 28. All planned surgeries will be postponed. However, emergency services will be functional as we do not want the common man to suffer,” said Dr Sanghvi.
In an official statement released by the IMA on Thursday, the IMA declared the Bill to be crassly pro-rich even after the proposed amendments.
The impact it will have on the one count of medical education becoming inaccessible to poor and downtrodden and producing doctors predominantly from the rich and urban sections of the population is unacceptable.
The statement underlined that upon the advent of the NMC Bill 2017, private medical colleges in states like Uttarakhand and Maharashtra raised their fees to Rs 25 lakh to 30 lakh per year for MBBS. Reservation of 50 per cent of the seats to the rich who can pay is a denial of equitable opportunities. Hence, it is certainly anti-people.
Speaking about their objection, Dr Ravi Wankhede, National President of IMA, said that representation to the states by rotation is an anti-federal idea.
“The views of the states are valuable in real time and not once in 10 years. Every state is unique in its needs and infrastructure. This is bound to result in widespread dissatisfaction. The anti-federal nature of the Bill in marginalising state governments, state medical councils and state health universities is a direct assault on the Constitution and the concept of India,” said Dr Wankhede.
Only non-emergency services to shut
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Padma Iyer, President of IMA, Pune chapter, said on July 28, all non-emergency services will be shut.
“Patients don’t have to worry as even a case of high fever will be considered as an emergency considering it as dengue and chikungunya symptom. However, all non-emergency services between 6 am and 6 pm will be shut on July 28,” said Dr Iyer.