Medicine

Health Ministry warns of punitive action as doctors continue strike

Health Ministry warns of punitive action as doctors continue strike

The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare, meanwhile, warned of punitive action like termination of service if they do not join work immediately.

The resident doctors from various hospitals - All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia, Lady Hardinge, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and Lok Nayak are protesting for the third consecutive day over the provisions of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019.

The Resident Doctor Association (RDA) of Safdarjung hospital have not resumed their emergency services.

On Friday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had appealed to the doctors to end their strike following a meeting with them at Nirman Bhawan.

Edited excerpts: You made your maiden speech about the National Medical Commission and you slammed the government's proposal to make medical education uniform across India.

PGIMER has appealed to the faculty members to remain present on duty as almost 1,200 resident doctors would be observing strike. They threatened to shut down emergency services again if the government does not agree to their demands.

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Late Friday night, doctors said they were resuming emergency services at AIIMS and all hospitals under the umbrella of the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA). It provides for common final year MBBS exam to be called National Exit Test (NEXT), which would serve as a parameter for entry into postgraduate medical courses.

According to the protesting doctors, the Bill empowers the central government to override any suggestion of the NMC, and will lead to deterioration of medical education and degradation of healthcare services.

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Saba had passed the National Medical Commission Bill which seeks to create National Medical Commission in place of Medical Council of India (MCI) with Harsh Vardhan terming it as an "anti-vested interests Bill" which will be remembered as one of the greatest reforms brought by the Narendra Modi government. There's also a disagreement over the concept of Community Health Providers (CHP) included in the Bill. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also expressed its dissatisfaction with the provisions of the Bill.

"The provisions of the said bill are nothing short of draconian and promote gross incompetence and mockery of professionals now working day and night and sacrificing their youth for this broken system", the AIIMS RDA, the FORDA and the URDA had earlier said in a joint statement.

Dr Thakur said they had delayed the strike till the Bill was placed in the Rajya Sabha. It will decrease the representation of elected members from 75 per cent in MCI to 20 per cent in NMC. At AIIMS-Patna, junior doctors and senior residents had gone on strike on Thursday evening.


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