Bhopal: Medical services were badly affected in the state as doctors of private hospitals on Tuesday shut OPDs to protest the National Medical Commission Bill. The situation eased later in the day when the 12-hour nationwide stir called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) was called off after the Centre agreed to refer the proposed legislation to a parliamentary standing committee In Bhopal, more than 250 private hospitals and nursing homes shut their out-patient departments (OPD) on Tuesday from 6 am.

Observing the day as a ‘Black Day’, the doctors of private hospitals and nursing homes wore black badges at work. The IMA has described the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 which aimed at constitution of a National Medical Commission to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) as ‘anti-people and anti-patient’. Opposing the bill, the medical fraternity has said that making a doctor sit for an exam to get a license
was unnecessary. Further, the fact that the Bill allows those practicing alternate medicine to extend their practice to allopathy by simply doing a
bridge course has also raised concerns among the medical fraternity.

MP Nursing Homes Association convener Dr Anup Hajela claiming that the strike was quite successful in the state said that the stir was called off after the government agreed to send the bill to a Parliamentary panel. “This Union government move will be devastating as this would help quacks to get into the medical system just by clearing a bridge course. Inclusion of Ayush doctors in the Bill is the bone of contention that has led private doctors to oppose the bill,” said Hajela.

MCI sets binding rules and guidelines for medical colleges to regulate the number of MBBS graduating each year. IMA has objections that the Bill seeks to do away with the permissions which will create a situation where private medical colleges will be able to increase undergraduate and postgraduate seats without seeking the approval of a regulator, he added.

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