July 27, 2018
New Delhi; The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Thursday called a 12-hour nationwide strike on Saturday (July 28) to protest against the “anti democratic and anti poor” National Medical Commission Bill, 2017.
“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.
Terming it a “Dhikkar Diwas” (shameful day), the IMA, whose website says it has more than 2,15,000 doctors as members, said the government is going ahead with the enactment of the Bill despite deep resentment and opposition by medical professionals.
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.
“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.
IMA National President Ravi Wankhedkar said they have made the world know of their opposition still the government is proceeding to decide how the medical profession of the country will be governed, which is completely unacceptable.
IMA said it has extended its support to Ayushman Bharat despite its legitimate concerns on package rates.
“The Bill has a draconian character which will cause irreparable damage to the interests of all the stakeholders and would reduce down regulatory mechanism to a puppetry with its strings attached to the government,” the release said.