NEW DELHI: Rejecting recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Medical Commission Bill, the Indian Medical Association, the largest body of private doctors in India, on Sunday called for an indefinite strike from April 2. More than 25,000 doctors held a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Delhi and opposed the parliament panel’s recommendations and the bill.
The NMC bill proposes to allow practitioners of alternative medicines —homoeopathy and Ayurveda — to practice modern medicine once they complete a ‘bridge course.’ It also proposes that the National Licentiate Examination be made compulsory for any MBBS doctor, including a foreign graduate, to make them eligible to practice medicine. The panel has recommended that the bridge course not be made a mandatory provision. It has also suggested to integrate the NLE with the final year MBBS exam. The doctors say the panel’s suggestions are “deceptive.”
IMA national president Ravi Wankhedkar said all medical students and doctors will go on an indefinite strike on April 2. He said there was no need for any law if the government wanted to boost only AYUSH, homoeopathy, pharmacists and dentists. “The PSC report is deceptive to such an extent that it will open the floodgates to allow back-door entry to cross-pathy, thereby promoting quackery legally. Even after cosmetic amendments, core issues still remain where it is.” Declaring hospitals “safe zones” was one of the issues discussed at the mahapanchayat.
Vinay Aggarwal, coordinator of the mahapanchayat, emphasized on the issue of violence against doctors and insisted that the “problems faced by doctors are enough, now it’s time to payback”. People should understand the meaning of medical negligence and that a doctor never intends to perform a wrong surgery, IMA said.