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02 January 2018, 11:05 | Floyd Cook
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The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, which seeks to replace the existing apex medical education regulator, the Medical Council of India (MCI), with a new body, was moved by the government in the house on Friday.
There are reports of disruption of healthcare services from various states.
"The emergency and casualty services in all the 140-odd private hospitals, however, will remain open during the protest", said Dr Ajay Pednekar, the Goa unit president of the IMA. Tabled in Parliament by Federal Health Minister JP Nadda last week, it gives practitioners of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy green light to practise modern medicine and prescribe allopathic drugs after attending a "bridge" course.
40,000 doctors of IMA Maharashtra chapter will observe the strike in the state. The Bill was anti-people as it promoted unscientific mixing of medical systems.
While the doctors at the state-run medical colleges chose to keep away from the Out Patient Department for an hour from 8-9 a.m. and at the state-run hospitals from 9-10 a.m., in many private hospitals the protests would continue till 6 p.m.
Protests were held by doctors in the national capital as well.
The Bill, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on December 18, aims at setting up a transparent regulatory mechanism for healthcare.
The proposed measure has been strongly opposed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which claimed that it will "cripple" the functioning of the medical profession by making it completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.
Meanwhile, the All India Medical Students' Association too has joined the strike call of IMA and has called for a student strike on Tuesday.
"NMC is an anti-poor bill with pro-private management clauses". The doctors are opposing this new NMC bill, said that the passing of this bill will be the black day in the medical history.
The government, however, maintained that the bill is beneficial for the medical fraternity. "No one needs any permission", Dr Pednekar said.
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