IMA to protest against NMC Bill

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In Bengaluru, around 200 medical students under the Karnataka Medical Students and Youth Doctors Association gathered on Monday to hold a protest.

"The joint sitting, may, by an affirmative vote of all members present and voting, decide on approving specific bridge course that may be introduced for the practitioners of Homeopathy and of Indian Systems of Medicine to enable them to prescribe such modern medicine at such level as may be prescribed", according to the Bill. "The IMA headquarter hereby declares closure of all routine services for 12 hours from 6am to 6pm across the country", newly-appointed IMA national president Dr Ravi Wankhedkar said.

With doctors staying off duty, the protest against the new bill has left many patients in the lurch.

OPD (Out-Patient Department) services of private hospitals are likely to be hit, although emergency and critical services will remain open.

However, Apollo Hospital and Kalinga Hospital here haven't joined the strike, sources said.

Ananth Kumar, Union Minister in Lok Sabha said the bill will be sent to a standing committee. "85 per cent Government fixed fees in private Medical Colleges", said the statement.

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"We want the central government to reconsider the National Medical Commission Bill".

Tandon also said: "The current MCI is a democratically elected body where we have almost 80 percent elected members and 20 percent nominated by the government".

The NMC Bill proposes some of the major changes in the Indian medical education sector, including replacement of the supreme medical regulatory body, the Medical Council of India (MCI), with the NMC.

IMA, which is not a statutory body, has been opposing the Bill to set up the NMC ever since it received the union cabinet clearance earlier last month, and has demanded amendments in it.

There is also a strong resentment against the examination that will be conducted by the NMC for medical students after completion of the course to be eligible as practising doctors.

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