Protest against Mixopathy: Doctors across country refrain from OPD, wear black band
New Delhi: Doctors across the country were seen participating in a massive protest called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), wherein, they abstained from work to oppose the recently proposed policy of the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) to train and allow the legal practice of surgeries by Ayurveda practitioners and the formation of 4 committees by NITI Aayog for the integration of all systems of medicine, while, the resident doctors under the banner of the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) supported the protest by wearing black bands while practicing.
Observing the call for the withdrawal of non-essential and non-COVID services between 6 am and 6 pm on Friday by IMA, doctors at AIIMS, and various Delhi government-run facilities, including LNJP Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, DDU Hospital, GTB Hospital, BSA Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, and civic-run Hindu Rao Hospital performed duties while wearing black armbands and ribbons.
The stir over the Center's recent gazette notification allowing postgraduate Ayurveda students to undergo training for 58 surgical procedures in general surgery, ENT, ophthalmology, and dentistry, prompted the doctors across the nation to launch the massive protest, wherein, all non-essential and non-COVID services, OPD services and elective surgeries remained shut. However, all emergency services including casualty, emergency room, critical care, ICUs, COVID care, emergency services, and labor room continued to function.
Commenting on the same, the Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS-Delhi, in a statement, told PTI, "This step will not only encourage already rampant quackery but also undermine the safety of the public. We request the government of India to retract this notification immediately".
"We stand with our medical fraternity in this regard and support the strike called by Indian Medical Association," it added.
Meanwhile, President of FORDA, Shivaji Deb Barman stated that the doctors in Delhi will observe the black ribbon protest, but "will not withdraw any services".
Over 30,000 doctors from Gujarat too joined the nationwide protest called by the IMA on Friday against the Centres decision to allow post-graduate Ayurvedic physicians to perform certain types of surgeries after training. However, emergency medical services to remain unaffected as they have been exempted from the purview of the agitation.
"Modern medicine doctors spend 8 to 10 years learning the same. So if that can be achieved in just three years, why are we spending so many years learning them?" asked Mona Desai, a senior doctor, immediate past president of the Ahmedabad Medical Association.
Moreover, private hospitals, nursing homes, and diagnostic centres in Uttar Pradesh on Friday extended support to the strike called by the IMA. According to the Uttar Pradesh unit president of the IMA Dr Ashok Rai, there are 21,500 private hospitals, pathologies, diagnostic centres and private doctors in the state who are observing strike.
During this period, only treatment of COVID-19 patients and emergency services will remain functional, he said, adding that Indian Dental Association has also extended its support to the IMA.
Government doctors are not a part of the strike, reports PTI.