Doctors in Kerala to join nationwide strike against bill today

Medical association calls for suspension of private healthcare services across India on Tuesday

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Bhubaneswar: Several medical students today staged a demonstration near Raj Bhavan in Odisha capital as a part of Indian Medical Association's call for a 12-hour shutdown of all private hospitals in the country.

The IMA has called a nationwide 12-hour strike by doctors of private hospitals against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2017, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body. The new National Commission Bill includes the bridge course proposal which would enable alternative medicine practitioners to practise allopathy from medical universities which is equal to MBBS course. As per the reports, the government is bringing up the new bill today.

Supporting the fraternity, private hospitals also kept their outpatient departments closed. "The amendments should be in favour of doctors", Dr Bharath Kumar, president, Karnataka Medical Students and Youth Doctors Association.

"We want the central government to reconsider the National Medical Commission Bill".

"We spoke to Indian Medical Association yesterday".

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Similarly, trains also continued to chug in the valley, including from Srinagar to Banihal in Jammu region via south Kashmir. The heavily-armed men hurled grenades and opened fire, trying to enter the training camp located in Awantipora.

The draft bill was introduced by Union Health Minister JP Nadda in Lok Sabha on Thursday to replace and subsume the MCI.

The NMC Bill proposes some of the major changes in the Indian medical education sector, including replacement of the supreme medical regulatory body, the Medical Council of India (MCI), with the NMC. He also said the talks with the striking doctors were going on.

IMA President expressed his apprehension that the bill will increase corruption in medical education and will push up cost of medical education very high while standard of medical education will fall definitely.

He said the NMC will "cripple" the functioning of the medical profession by making it completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.

The commission will have a government-nominated chairman and members, and the board members will be selected by a search committee under the Cabinet Secretary, it says.

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