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Doctors go on 24-hour nationwide strike against passage of NMC Bill in Lok Sabha


New Delhi, July 31: Doctors across the country are on a 24-hour medical strike from 6 am on Wednesday against the passage of the National Medical Commission Bill, which seeks to replace the graft-tainted Medical Council of India, saying it is "anti-poor, anti-student and anti-democratic".

However, emergency, casualty, ICU and other related services will remain unaffected.

Doctors go on 24-hour nationwide strike against passage of NMC Bill in Lok Sabha

The Indian Medical Association, the largest body of doctors and students in the country with around three lakh members, has called for demonstrations and hunger strikes at its local branches and urged medical students to boycott classes and proclaim solidarity with IMA.

Explained: What is National Medical Commission Bill 2019 and why are doctors opposing it?

It warned in a statement it will intensify agitation if the government continues to be "indifferent to their concerns".

Public demonstrations against the Bill will take place across the country. Few doctors are also likely to go on hunger strikes, said the IMA.

"The Lok Sabha has approved and passed the draconian NMC Bill yesterday. The democratic lower house has dumped healthcare and medical education of this country into darkness by approving the undemocratic National Medical Commission Bill 2019. IMA HQ calls for 24 hours withdrawal of non essential services on Wednesday 31.07.2019 in protest," the association said on its website.

"The emergency Action Committee reviewed the situation yesterday night. It has been decided to call for 24 hours withdrawal of non essential services across the nation by modern medicine doctors from 6 am on Wednesday, 31.07.2019 till 6 am the next day ie. Thursday, 01.08.2019," it added.

The medical fraternity is anguished that the health minister, a surgeon, instead of including key recommendations made by the Parliament Standing Committee, replaced many provisions with clauses detrimental to the doctors' community. The fraternity claims the bill will encourage quackery.

The IMA rejects the bill and its protest will continue, Santanu Sen, national president of IMA, said.

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