Doctors will observe January 2 as ‘black day’

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private-doctors-strikeHyderabad: Doctors will observe January 2 as ‘black day’ to protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has declared closure of services for 12 hours on Tuesday across the country.Dr Narsinga Reddy of the Telangana IMA said, “Private hospitals across the state will close services from 6 am to 6 pm. About 1,800 hospitals will shut services all over the country. Only emergencies and critical care services will be attended.” An IMA statement read: “The NMC in the present form is not acceptable. This Bill is anti-poor, anti-people, non-representative, undemocratic and anti-federal in character. The purpose of the Bill is to replace the existing Medical Council of India (MCI) with the National Medical Council.”

The new National Medical Council will create four autonomous boards — UGME (Undergraduate Medical Education Board), PGME (Postgraduate Medical Education Board), MAR (Medical Assessment and Rating) Board and EMR (Ethics and Medical Registration) Board. Permission to start medical colleges, including PG and super-specialty courses, or increase in the number seats, will be granted by the MAR Board.

The IMA statement said the Bill bestows such widespread power to the Board that it was liable to be misused. The Bill allows practitioners of Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy (AYUSH), to practise modern medicine after they complete a short-term bridge course. The IMA claimed that such people will have two registrations, one with BAMS and BHMS council and another with NMC.

According to the IMA, “These are the flood gates that have been opened up in terms of the statutory provisions for backdoor entry into medical profession.”