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02 January 2018, 11:05 | Marta Robbins
The Ministry of Health had issued an advisory asking all necessary measures to be taken to ensure patient healthcare and emergency services to run smoothly.
The outpatient departments in private hospitals were closed in support of the strike called by the Indian Medical Association. The bill seeks to replace the Medical Council of India which is the apex body for the medical fraternity since 1934 and forming new National Medical Council.
Dr. Kallivayalil, also a former vice president of the Indian Medical Association, said the Bill would be disastrous for the country's public health sector.
It has also proposed that specific educational modules or programmes for developing bridges across the various systems of medicine and promotion of medical pluralism, can be done with the approval of all the members present in the joint sitting.
The protest comes the day the bill, which aims to restructure the medical regulatory body, is expected to come up for discussion in Lok Sabha. The strike is called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
The bill also proposes to allow practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda to practice allopathy after completing a bridge course. As per the reports, the government is bringing up the new bill today.
In Tamil Nadu, however, government doctors, too, boycotted OPD services in protest against the National Medical Commission Bill, PTI reported. As per its provisions, the government can regulate the fee structure of only up to 40% of the seats at a private medical college. "If passed, the bill allows for any private medical college to raise its undergraduate and post graduate seats on its own", said Shah. To clear one more exam after four years of graduation is a burden on the students, he said. Talking to Chronicle Pharmabiz after the meeting, IMA Secretary General Dr RN Tandon said the Bill would cripple the functioning of medical professionals by making them completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.
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