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Doctors to observe strike today

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love dale belagavi

IMA Belagavi Branch has decided to take part in nationwide protest against National Medical Commission hence all the Outpatient Department will remain close on 2nd January from 6:AM to 6:PM except emergency services and critical care services.

The Medical Council of India which was established in 1956 as per the IMC act is being proposed to get replaced by National Medical Commission (NMC) as per the recommendations of NITI aayog. If it happens the whole modern medical system in India would get derailed to irreparable stage. The problems in MCI are not due to the structure of the MCI, but due to its functions, which have been continuously interfered over the past 3 decades. The short comings of MCI can be and must be tackled by medical professionals alone. The MCI is of the doctors, by the doctors and for the doctors and it must remain so.

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The allegation of corruption by few people with in MCI should not be a reason to close down an autonomous institution of the stature of MCI. Instead the required amendments can be brought in to the administration of MCI to improve the medical education system in India. One is not justified in amputating the nose itself while treating disease related to nose! The act of abolishing a democratic institution and replacing it by a body in which majority are nominated by the Government is certainly a retrograde step.

About representation, according to the draft Bill, while all the State Governments have representation in MCI now, only five States in rotation will have representation in NMC. As a result of which it will take two decades for a state to re-enter. Twenty members of the commission will be appointed by a search and select committee appointed by central Government and chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. Nomination will be done for 12 ex-officio and 6 part-time members. This will “cripple” the democratic functioning of the medical profession by making it completely answerable to bureaucracy, and open opportunities for corruption. This will in turn make way for decline in the standards of medical education for ever.

As of now the Government of Karnataka has retained authority over 80% of all available medical seats in Karnataka. In future this would come down to 40%. In turn the Government of Karnataka will lose control over fixing fees in 60% of medical seats. Because of this the parents belonging to lower and middle socio economic status would drop the idea of sending their childrens to medical profession.

The draft Bill also virtually strikes out Section 15 of the IMC Act, which says the basic qualification to practice modern medicine is MBBS. However the bill inducts non-medical people into the highest body of medical governance changing its perspective and character forever and introduces schedule IV to allow the AYUSH graduates to get registration in modern medicine. As per the proposed NMC, in future the half baked partly trained doctors from other systems of medicine (AYUSH) will be allowed to register and practice under modern medical system, which would definitely increase deaths due to medical negligence enormously.

The draft Bill also proposes a common entrance exam and licentiate exam which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses, which will demoralize the medical students and the health universities in this country.

Regulators need to have autonomy and be independent of the administrators. The NMC will be a regulator appointed by the administrators under their direct control and hence autonomy cannot be expected.

Hence we appeal to you to recall the Bill and rectify these anomalies as we feel the Parliament has a larger role to protect the interest of the medical profession and the society as well.

Trinity Belagavi
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