Over 3,500 doctors in city to join IMA strike on Monday

More than 3,500 doctors affiliated to the Indian Medical Association in the city will join the nation-wide token strike to protest against the Clinical Establishment Bill and other policies on June 25

Written by Express News Service | Published:June 23, 2012 1:41 am

More than 3,500 doctors affiliated to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in the city will join the nation-wide token strike to protest against the Clinical Establishment Bill and other policies on June 25. However,emergency services will be provided.

“All methods to convince the government have failed,hence this nationwide call for a one-day token medical strike,” the IMA’s city branch officials said.

Dr Mohan Joshi,secretary of the Pune unit of IMA,said stringent rules and regulations have been proposed regarding space,infrastructure,equipment and para-medical and nursing staff. The Bill proposes to make doctors follow the minimum standards of space,infrastructure,equipment,number of qualified para-medical and nursing staff for clinical establishments.

Dr Bharati Dhorepatil,IMA’s city unit chief said simple surgeries,which are not that expensive,would cost almost 10 times if the Bill is implemented. Patients will end up paying huge sums for simple procedures and treatment,Joshi said.

Due to shortage of space,small clinics will have to close down as the Bill requires medical units to function on larger areas. IMA has urged that old esablishments should be exempted from this clause.

The Association has also protested against the National Commission for Human Resources for Health Bill,2011.

The government has proposed to set up a national commission that would have precedence over state councils or may even dissolve them,Joshi said,adding that there will be no redressal of doctors’s grievances in such bodies.

The IMA has also protested against the three-year course in rural medicine — Bachelor of Rural Health and Care — to be conducted exclusively in rural areas.

Owing to shortage of doctors,the government had planned to set up medical schools at district hospitals. Students would be from rural areas and on completion of the course,would have to serve in their areas for five years.

“This is unfair to the student community,” IMA members said.

“By introducing separate set of medical professionals for rural India,the government is discriminating against rural citizens. This violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” doctors said.

IMA has also opposed the National Exit Examination for doctors who have cleared their respective university examinations. It has also demanded that the salaries of state government doctors should be on a par with central government scales.

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