IMA calls off strike after National Medical Commission bill sent to select committee

New Delhi, Jan 2: The Indian Medical Association on Tuesday called off its 12-hour nationwide shutdown of OPD services at all private hospitals after the central government agreed to its demand and sent the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 to a select committee.

Earlier in a day, healthcare services at multiple hospitals across the country have been disrupted as doctors were on strike.

The National medical Commission (NMC) bill that was introduced in the lower house of Parliament on December 29 and later in a day it was discussed in the Rajya Sabha.

“We have called off the 12-hour strike as we have just been informed that the government has agreed to our demands and has sent the Bill to a select committee,” K.K. Aggarwal, former president of IMA, told news agency IANS.

Prior to this, the central government has left us no option but to call it a ‘black day’ in the history of the medical profession. ‘No to NMC (National Medical Commission)’ is a slogan for the medical community as well as every patient, news agency NAI quoted Parthiv Sanghvi of Indian Medical Association was saying.

The IMA, which has 2.77 lakh members, has described the Bill as anti-poor and anti-people, and said it is designed to open the floodgates of corruption. It has also sought several amendments in the Bill.

“The IMA strongly opposes this Bill and has no option but to take the issues to our patients and the people. To register our protest, routine medical services like OPD and elective surgeries across the country have been withdrawn between 6 am and 6 pm at our member hospitals and health institutions,” national president Ravi Wankhede told news agency IANS.

The demand comes after a delegation of the IMA led by President K.K. Aggarwal and its national president Ravi Wankhede held a meeting with Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda, seeking strict amendments in the Bill.

IMA, which is not a statutory body, has been against the Bill since it received the union cabinet clearance earlier last month.

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