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12 hour Doctors’ strike today against new Medical Bill

By Deepika

New Delhi, July 28: Medical services are likely to be hit as the Indian Medical Association will observe'Dikkar Diwas by closing private hospitals to pressurise the government, not to introduce the National Medical Commission Bill on Saturday.

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As part of the bandh, outpatient departments in private hospitals and clinics will remain closed from 6 am to 6 pm.

On Saturday, all non-emergency services including OPD would remain closed for the 12 hours. However, critical services including deliveries, emergencies and in-patient care would be provided, the doctors' association said.

The Union Health Ministry said the strike may involve participation of a number of medical professionals, thereby, adversely affecting the health care services and causing inconvenience to patient care in the hospitals.

The ministry has thus asked the additional chief secretaries and health secretaries of all states and Union Territories to put in place all necessary measures to ensure that the patient health care and emergency services are run smoothly during the strike.

"Provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) may be invoked, if necessary. These measures may be continued if the strike is extended," a communique said.

"IMA, fully conscious of its responsibility towards the generations of doctors to come, is withdrawing non-emergency medical services across the country on Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.," it said in a release.

"We are left with no choice but to resist the move with determination and resolve ... Withdrawal of non-emergency services for 12 hours is only a token of our resistance," it said hinting at a bigger action later to defend the autonomy of medical profession.

According to the IMA, the bill is anti-poor and anti-democracy. If the bill is introduced , medical education will only be limited to rich people. So, the bill should not be introduced at any cost, the members demand.


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