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IMA calls for bandh today, health services to take a hit

IMA calls for bandh today, health services to take a hit
Highlights

Doctors working in corporate and private hospitals and running own clinics across the Telangana State would be staying away from duties to express support to the strike call given by IMA

Hyderabad: Healthcare services across Telangana State are set to be hit on Wednesday as the Indian Medical Association had called for a 24-hour bandh across India in protest against the NMC Bill that was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday.

Doctors working in corporate and private hospitals and running own clinics in different parts of the State would be staying away from duties to express support to this strike.

IMA, however, exempted emergency, casualty and ICU services from the bandh. As far as government hospitals are concerned, junior doctors are staying away from elective duties, while government doctors have not taken any decision on this issue.

After taking the fight to New Delhi streets on Monday even as the Lok Sabha debated and passed the NMC Bill on the same day, opposing the bill in toto, IMA took a decision on Tuesday evening to observe 24-hour bandh of medical services in all States so that Centre understands gravity of the issue and takes note of their concerns.

Accordingly IMA, Telangana unit has called for the doctors' fraternity from the state to actively take part in the bandh.

Doctors across India are taking objection to few clauses namely 8(2), 10 (1) (a), 15(1), 32 and 34 and special provisions 50 and 51 which they say are not in the interests of the medical fraternity.

" The NDA government had dumped healthcare and medical education of the country into darkness by approving the draconian, pro-rich, undemocratic and unconstitutional NMC Bill," said IMA Telangana president Dr B Prathap Reddy and state secretary Dr Sanjeev Singh Yadav while addressing the media here on Tuesday.

According to the doctors, Section 32 of the NMC Bill provides for licensing of 3.5 lakh unqualified non-medical persons to practice modern medicine.

The term community health provider has been vaguely defined to allow anyone connected with modern medicine to get registered in NMC and be licensed to practice modern medicine.

This would mean that all paramedics including pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, optometrists and others will become eligible to practice modern medicine and prescribe independently. This law legalised quackery, said the doctors.

Telangana junior doctors working in all government hospitals and resident doctors at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Panjagutta have given notices to higher officials stating that they would be boycotting elective duties including Out Patient, ward and Elective OT (Operation Theatre) duties on Wednesday to express support to IMA's bandh call.

T JUDA chairman Dr P S Vijayendar Goud and NIMS RDA president Dr G Srinivas rued that NMC Bill was passed even bypassing suggestions, recommendations of Parliamentary Standing Committee. A week-long protests were held against the bill, but Centre did not bother to hear to our concerns, they lamented.

Meanwhile, IMA is mulling to approach Supreme Court if Centre did not make necessary amendments while passing the Bill in Rajya Sabha, which is mostly likely to happen in next two days.

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