TN govt doctors to boycott work tomorrow against Centre's Bill

Medical association calls for suspension of private healthcare services across India on Tuesday

The Bill seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), the apex body for the medical fraternity since 1934, and form a new National Medical Council.

The NMC Bill 2017 will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), that has been in controversy over several allegations of corruption.

Protesting the decision on formation of the Medical Commission, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Telangana chapter has declared Tuesday as a "Black Day" and has called all private and corporate hospitals in Hyderabad and elsewhere to suspend their routine medical services, excluding emergencies, for 12 hours between 6 am and 6 pm.

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Senior officials of the IMA, the nation's largest body of doctors, on Monday repeated their shutdown call after what they said was an "unsuccessful meeting" with Union health minister J.P. Nadda and his officials to discuss the bill, tabled in Parliament on Friday. "Doctors pursuing Indian systems of medicine, including ayurveda, and homeopathy may be allowed to practice allopathy after clearing a bridge course', according to a bill introduced in the Lok Sabha".

"I fully support this strike".

"The emergency and casualty services in all the 140-odd private hospitals, however, will remain open during the protest", said Dr Ajay Pednekar, the Goa unit president of the IMA.

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The health ministry this evening sent a circular to central government hospitals including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Safdarjung Hospital and the Lady Hardinge Medical College to ensure "smooth and hassle-free services" to patients on Tuesday. "IMA will facilitate the deployment of 65,000 fresh MBBS graduates graduating every year in Rural Health Services with appropriate working conditions and incentives", said the statement.

Echoing similar concerns, Dr Shivkumar Utture, President of Maharashtra Medical Council said, "The problems and the laws that apply to the bill will cause general patients to suffer". Another three-four months will not be disastrous for you. "We have asked our members to ensure that patients do not suffer", said Tapan Biswas, president-elect of the IMA's Bengal branch.

As per Section 55 (2)(zl) of the NMC Bill, the Ethics and Medical Registration Board can maintain a separate national register that would have the names of licensed AYUSH practitioners.

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