Resident doctors from AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, PGI-Chandigarh and Aligarh Muslim University took out a march on Tuesday against National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017.
Although they planned to march till Parliament, they could proceed only till INA metro station from AIIMS when the police stopped them. “The Union health minister called us to his office for a meeting. He has assured us that our concerns will be addressed,” said Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, president, AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association.
Another protest against the bill was led by Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), during which participants claimed that the proposed legislation would “cripple” the functioning of medical professionals by making them completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.
Doctors are also opposing the bill’s proposal of allowing practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, practise allopathy after completing a bridge course. The AIIMS association has termed the bill as “anti-poor and anti-people” and “unacceptable” to doctors and medical students in its present form.
The bill, which seeks to replace Medical Council of India, was introduced by Union health minister J P Nadda in Lok Sabha on December 29 and in Rajya Sabha on January 2. Following disagreement, Lok Sabha sent it to the parliamentary standing committee on health for review.
Indian Medical Commission, representing allopathic practitioners, has opposed the bill, while another group led by All India Homeopathic Doctors Federation (AIHDF) is supporting it. “Most allopathy doctors practise in urban areas. Rural areas are still being served by practitioners of Indian systems of medicine. The bridge course will help standardise treatment and improve public health services,” Dr Sunil Takalkar, member of AIHDF told TOI on Monday. AIHDF held a two-day meet at Ramlila Maidan from Monday to support the bill.
Times of India