Indian Medical Association observes ‘All India Protest day’ in Pune city

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 4 January 2019

“It was a day long protest where doctors from the city wore black bands to show their opposition to the Consumer Protection Act 1986. This act is being repealed and replaced by the Consumer Protection Bill 2018. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on December 12,” said Iyer.

Pune: Indian Medical Association (IMA) Pune chapter along with the national wing observed an ‘All India Protest Day’ on Friday against the Consumer Protection Bill 2018 which was recently passed by the Lok Sabha.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Padma Iyer, President of the Pune chapter of IMA said that member doctors, as well as patients, were sensitised on Friday regarding the issue.

“It was a day long protest where doctors from the city wore black bands to show their opposition to the Consumer Protection Act 1986. This act is being repealed and replaced by the Consumer Protection Bill 2018. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on December 12,” said Iyer.

She further added that the act is detrimental to the medical practice, as it has proposed to increase the jurisdiction of the district forum from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore, the state forum from 1 crore to 10 crore and the national forum from 10 crore upwards.

“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 Iyer.

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

“Doctors are being harassed and are stressed out as such even under the existing act. Defencive 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 health care 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,” said Dr Iyer.

She also added that this protest is also an effort to sentisitise the Member of Parliaments (MP) especially the Rajya Sabha MPs about the catastrophic nature of the bill.

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