IMA calls off nationwide strike against NMC Bill due to Kashmir situation, floods
(Photo by NOAH SEELAM / AFP)

New Delhi: In view of the prevailing situation in Kashmir as well as some parts of the country being hit by floods and the demise of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to call off its nationwide strike opposing the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill on Thursday.

But the IMA said it will continue to fight against the NMC bill and carry out an aggressive public campaign against it. "IMA emergency action committee had proclaimed on Sunday a nationwide withdrawal of services on Thursday, August 8, 2019. Medical students and resident doctors are on a warpath. A delegation of IMA under the leadership of IMA National President, Dr Santanu Sen along with other senior leaders, medical student representatives and junior doctors met Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare," IMA said in a statement.

"Certain clarifications and assurances given by him and considering the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, heavy flood situation in North East, Karnataka, Maharashtra and other parts of the country as well as untimely sad demise of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj and the need for further dialogue and creating awareness about hazards of certain provisions of NMC, IMA defers its call for withdrawal of services to a later date of choice," said Sen.

A statement issued by IMA said "it supports the medical students and resident doctors and will continue to add momentum to the movement till justice is rendered. IMA has decided an aggressive public campaign against section 32, 50 and 51 which legitimises quackery and promotes crosspathy, section 10.1.i on capping of fee in undergraduate and post-graduate medical education, on section 15 the lingering uncertainty of the career of medical students and section 29.3 and 28.7 on quality of medical education."

IMA also appealed to the President to withhold assent to the Bill until the dangers to the health of the nation accruing from several sections are adequately addressed. It said it has faith in the judiciary in correcting the aberrations in this "black law". "The struggle of IMA against the deleterious clauses of NMC Bill 2019 will continue till the medical education and the health of the nation are out of harm's way. IMA will consult with all the stakeholders especially the medical students and resident doctors on further course of action," said the statement.

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