OPD Services Partially Suspended At Private Hospitals Over New Medical Law

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OPD services in Karnataka's Hubli and other cities in the states were also affected.

A bill to replace the apex medical education regulator - Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body, to ensure transparency, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 29.

The association, the country's professional body of doctors, is at the forefront of the protest against the draft bill arguing that it will seriously impede the democratic functioning of the profession.

Dr Vivek Chouksey, President Federation of Resident Doctors Association, said, "It is a bill that the politicians are trying to push through and we are against it but we also don't want patients to suffer". The IMA called the move anti-people.

It has also proposed that specific educational modules or programmes for developing bridges across the various systems of medicine and promotion of medical pluralism, can be done with the approval of all the members present in the joint sitting.

The IMA claimed that it has the support of over 25,000 doctors from the government and private sector as well as 10,000 medical students in the state.

Some other contentions with the bill include representation of just five states at any given point in time in the NMC, bringing the state medical councils under the NMC.

Bill, which was tabled at the Indian parliament last week, is likely to come up for discussion on Tuesday. We have been discussing the National Medical Commission Bill with the government since a year. As per its provisions, the government can regulate the fee structure of only up to 40% of the seats at a private medical college. "No one needs any permission", Dr Pednekar said. "The National Medical Commission will be a regulator appointed by the administrators under their direct control", Agarwal said.

OPDs in private hospitals will not work between 6 a.m.to 6 p.m. tomorrow to protest against the "undemocratic, anti-poor, non-representative and anti-federal" bill, the IMA said, adding that emergency and critical care services are exempted from the protest.

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