Indian Medical Association calls strike on August 8 to protest against NMC Bill
(PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday called for a withdrawal of services of modern medicine doctors across the country on August 8 against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill.

"We will observe the black day for three days. And on August 8 we have decided that we will have a 24 hours strike. It is in the people's interest," former IMA president Vinay Aggarwal told ANI after the Action Committee meeting convened at IMA headquarters here. IMA spokesperson Narendra Saini said that the NMC bill will encourage quackery. "On one side we talk about improving the quality of healthcare and if you read clause 51 and 52 then it seems like we are encouraging quackery. One can become a doctor after complete four-year MBBS course with one-year training. And now a person who has been associated with health services can become a doctor after some days of training," he said.

"We have called for a protest. We demand that people should get quality healthcare which only qualified doctors can give," Saini added. Doctors have also been raising their voices against sections 32 and 15 of the Bill pertaining to licensing of health providers and the entrance exam for post-graduate course/NEXT. They say that the Bill empowers Central government to override any suggestion of the NMC.

However, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan hailed the bill as "historic" and said that it will benefit doctors and medical students. The NMC Bill will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) by a National Medical Commission. It will decrease the representation of elected members from 75 per cent in MCI to 20 per cent in NMC.

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