Representational image
Representational image

Mumbai: The Indian Medical Association, after a maha panchayat held in New Delhi on March 25 in which 25,000 doctors and medical students participated, has declared that doctors across the country will go on an indefinite strike from April 2, if the government does not remove controversial clauses from the National Medical Commission Bill.

The association also rejected a recent parliamentary standing committee report on the Bill that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India with a new body, saying it has proposed only cosmetic changes. The two main issues IMA is agitating about are inclusion of a bridge course to let AYUSH doctors double up as modern medicine practitioners and lesser representation of elected doctors.

It has also proposed that the National Licentiate Examination (NLE) be made compulsory for an MBBS doctor, including a foreign graduate, to make them eligible to practice medicine in India.

The panel has also recommended that the “bridge course” should not be made a mandatory provision. It has also suggested integrating the NLE with the final year MBBS exam. “The government policy at present seems totally against quality modern medicine. All medical students and doctors will go on an indefinite strike from April 2,” said Ravi Wankhedkar, IMA president.

A senior doctor from King Edward Memorial Hospital said there was no need for the government to make any law if they want to boost only AYUSH, homoeopathy, pharmacists and dentistry. “We are supporting the strike and all the Outpatient Departments in the city will be shut. But if there are any emergency cases, doctors will treat them,” said Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, IMA president, Mumbai.

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