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AIIMS, Safdarjung doctors call off strike after meeting Harsh Vardhan over NMC Bill

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NMC Bill Strike

Addressing the concerns over the NMC bill, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with the representatives of resident doctors associations of AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital, following which the doctors called off their strike and resumed all services.

The meeting was held with an endeavour to address the concerns of the doctors and also to call off the strike in view of the problems being faced by the patients.

Meanwhile, doctors associated with the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) also resumed services in all Delhi government hospitals on Sunday.

In an official statement to the AIIMS director, the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) said that during the meeting, the Union Minister assured them of addressing their concerns while drafting the regulations of the National Medical Commission (NMC).

“The health minister explained the objectives of bringing the NMC bill 2019 at length and assured us that the apprehensions… will be duly addressed while drafting the regulations by the NMC once it is constituted,” the AIIMS RDA said in the communique.

“We were also assured by the minister that representatives of RDA and students unions AIIMS (New Delhi) will be consulted before framing of regulations of the NMC bill under section 57 of the bill,” the AIIMS RDA added.

They said the AIIMS administration also assured them that the strike period, August 1 to 3, would be considered as “on duty”.

On meeting the representatives of resident doctors associations, Vardhan tweeted saying,” Met the delegation of AIIMS RDA at my residence and reiterated that National Medical Commission Bill is a big change in the field of medical education which will prove to be a blessing in better health services to 130 crore people.”

“Besides AIIMS RDA, also met SJDDELHI RDA delegation and removed their misconceptions regarding NMC Bill. Hope the agitating doctors, in view of problems faced by the patients, and national interest end their protest”, Vardhan further tweeted.

The doctors boycotted work and had been demonstrating against certain provisions of the bill since its passage in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

On Saturday, the AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital authorities had threatened punitive action against the protesting doctors as they intensified their agitation and police had to be deployed around the campuses to control the situation.

Following the meeting, administrators of both the hospitals had on Saturday issued memorandums to their resident doctors to resume work at their respective departments and warned them of punitive action, such as termination of service, if they did not resume duty immediately.

In reference to the Bill, the doctors are demanding certain amendments in the bill and if not amended, the bill will lead to a fall of medical education and degradation of healthcare services.

With absolutely no clarity over the introduction of NEXT and scrapping the NEET-PG, the doctors also opposed the decrease in the percentage of seats under controlled fees structure in private medical colleges and deemed universities from 85 to 50 per cent, reducing the representation of elected members from 75 per cent in MCI to 20 per cent in the National Medical Commission and autonomous boards constituted there-under.

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