Doctor's strike observes today against National Commission Bill

Emergency services have not been affected.

Supporting the fraternity, private hospitals also kept their outpatient departments closed.

A medical advisory council, including one member representing each state and Union territory (vice-chancellors in both cases), the chairman, University Grants Commission, and the director of the National Accreditation and Assessment Council will make recommendations to the NMC. "So, our OPD services will go on as per routine but we are wearing a black band in protest".

Dr. Kallivayalil, also a former vice president of the Indian Medical Association, said the Bill would be disastrous for the country's public health sector.

"It removes all regulations that were in place before a medical college starts functioning". The doctors are opposing this new NMC bill, said that the passing of this bill will be the black day in the medical history. The protest was staged by students from both private and government medical institutions.

The NMC Bill was tabled in Parliament on Friday and seeks to replace MCI (Medical Council of India) and also allows practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, to practise allopathy after completing a "bridge course". Over 40,000 doctors were participating in the strike in Maharashtra, while reports of the strike and protests were coming in from across the country.

The protests come at a time when the Bill might be taken up for discussion in Parliament, later on Tuesday. According to it, the 15% seats of the private medical colleges will be decided by the management of fees. For instance, colleges will be allowed to start post-graduate courses and increase intake of students all on their own - without seeking permission from the NMC. A 25-member commission will replace the elected MCI, the Bill says.

Dr B Veranna, secretary IMA Karnataka, said, "It is unacceptable to that a body is dissolved to curb corruption and another is erected in its place which too has all the provisions of getting corrupt again".

  • Tracy Klein