October 24, 2020

Doctors’ strike affects health services

Patna: Doctors of all the state-run hospitals in the state – including Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) in Patna – didn’t provide services to outpatient and indoor wings of hospitals on Saturday, as part of a day-long pen-down strike called by the state chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) to protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill.

The state chapter of IMA organised the protest on a call given by the national unit of IMA. Doctors associated with Bihar Health Services Association (NHSA), Bihar State Contract Dental Association (BSCDA) and IMA students’ wing supported state IMA’s strike.

Emergency services, however, were not hit.

“The NMC Bill has provisions for formation of National Medical Commission, which is supposed to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI). The new bill proposes to induct non-medical persons, such as IAS officials, into NMC. Presently, doctors have the right to vote while electing the medical council. Any registered medical practitioner in the country can contest for elections.

However, this system will get scrapped with the formation of the new body. This is one of the reasons why IMA is protesting against the bill. The formation of National Medical Commission would also allow practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homeopathy and ayurveda, to practice modern medicine after attending a 6-month-long bridge course. This will have serious implications on the health of people because of which IMA is protesting,” IMA state secretary Brajnandan Kumar said.

Doctors were also protesting the provision in the NMC Bill that says the government would have the control of only 40 per cent of seats in private medical colleges. The remaining 60 per cent of seats would not be under the government’s control.

Junior doctors’ association president at PMCH, Vinay Kumar, said that apart from OPD and indoor, few planned surgeries were not carried out on Saturday while NMCH junior doctors’ association president Ravi Ranjan Kumar Raman said only a handful of the 25 planned surgeries were conducted on Saturday.

“In the orthopaedics department, only one out of 10 planned surgeries was carried out while one or two planned surgeries were carried out in the gynaecology department,” he said.

Patients who were not aware about the doctors’ pen-down strike faced problems.

Renu Devi, who went to the gynaecology department’s OPD for her routine ante-natal check, had to return disappointed. “The hospital should have made alternative arrangements for the strike. How can hospital services be affected when majority of people here depend on this hospital,” she asked.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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