Doctors protest against bill that aims to replace MCI with new body

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New Delhi | Published: February 6, 2018 11:36:20 PM

The bill was referred to a parliamentary select committee following protests by doctors from across the country. They said the proposed legislation would "cripple" the functioning of medical professionals by making them completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.

AIIMS, MCI, doctors, doctors protest, aima protestDoctors protest against bill that aims to replace MCI with new body

Resident doctors of several leading institutions, including AIIMS, today took out a protest march in Delhi against the National Medical Commission Bill, which aims to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body. The participants included resident doctors from Safdarjung Hospital, PGI-Chandigarh, Aligarh Muslim University and other institutions. The protest began at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences and headed towards the Parliament House in central Delhi, but the police stopped them near INA area. Hundreds of doctors participated in the protest opposing various provisions of the bill, including that it seeks to replace the MCI with a new body. A delegation of the doctors also met Health Minister J P Nadda at his office. “The minister assured that all our concerns will be addressed and a meeting with the parliamentary committee will be fixed,” a member of the AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association said, adding that they were not going on a strike over their demands. The delegation submitted a memorandum of their demands to Nadda. The bill was referred to a parliamentary select committee following protests by doctors from across the country. They said the proposed legislation would “cripple” the functioning of medical professionals by making them completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.

The doctors also oppose the bill’s proposal to allow practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, practice allopathy after completing a “bridge course”. The AIIMS Resident Doctors Association has termed the bill “anti-poor”, “anti-people” and “unacceptable” to doctors and medical students in its present form. The bill also proposes a common entrance exam and licentiate (exit) exam which all medical graduates will have to clear to get licence to practice. The RDA has written to the Health Ministry and the parliamentary committee to “remove” these clauses.

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