Doctors, students hold protests outside AIIMS, Nirman Bhavan against National Medical Commission bill

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NEW DELHI: Doctors and students from various colleges and medical hospitals will protest outside AIIMS and Nirman Bhavan on Monday. The protest is against the National Medical Commission (NMC) bill. The Indian Medical Association has a member body of around 3 lakh students and doctors. It has given a call to all students and doctors to hold protest against the NMC bill. The protest march will start from AIIMS, Nirman Bhavan and conclude at Jantar Mantar.

The protest march is also being called the ‘Delhi Andolan’. It calls for imperative amendments in the National Medical Commission bill. The primary contention with the NMC bill is Section 32. It allows community health providers to practice medicine and prescribe drugs legally. The president of the Indian Medical Association, Dr. Santanu Sen explained how Section 32, if not amended would endanger the lives of people.

Apart from Section 32, IMA is also in opposition of several other provisions present in the NMC bill. This includes coupling of NEET and NEXT and the regulation of fee by the NMC for 50 per cent seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities. “The NMC Bill compromises patient care and patient safety. It also violates constitutional principles of right to democracy, federalism and equal opportunities,” the IMA said in a statement.

Dr. A Marthanda Pillai, chairman of IMA Action Commission, said if Section 32 is not removed, core health parameters, including life expectancy will plummet and the nation will miss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target set for 2030.

The bill proposes a common final year MBBS examination. It will be known as National Exit Test (NEXT). The test is to be taken in order to be eligible for post-graduate medical courses and for obtaining license to practice medicine. It would also act as a screening test for foreign medical graduates, official sources said.

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