Indian Medical Association

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), the largest body of private doctors in India has opposed National Medical Commission bill (NMC) which proposes to allow doctors of alternative medicines to practice modern medicine after completing a “bridge course”. Protesting against the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the same, the IMA has called for an indefinite strike from April 2.

The decision to observe a strike was taken in a mahapanchayat at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi on Sunday. More than 25,000 doctors were present at the mahapanchayat. The doctors said the Parliamentary Panels suggestions were deceptive.

IMA national president Ravi Wankhedkar said there was no need for the Government to make any law if they want to boost only AYUSH, homeopathy, pharmacists and dentist.

“The PSC report is deceptive to such an extent that it will open up the floodgates to allow back-door entry to cross-pathy, thereby promoting quackery legally. Even after the cosmetic amendments, the core issues still remain where it is,” Wankhedkar said.

The NMC bill allows practitioners of alternative medicines – such as homeopathy and ayurveda – to practice modern medicine. The Bill also proposes that the National Licentiate Examination (NLE) should be made compulsory for any MBBS doctor, including a foreign graduate, to make them eligible to practice medicine in India. The parliamentary panel has suggested to integrate the NLE with the final year MBBS exam.

“The NMC is a pro-private management bill paving the way for widespread corruption… All arguments of the government are hollow and its intention is malafide and harmful, R N Tandon, honorary secretary-general of the IMA said.

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