The IMA called off its 12-hour shutdown of OPD services at all private hospitals after the government agreed to its demand.

Contentious bill to let AYUSH docs practice modern medicine sent to standing committeeImage for representation.
news Medicine Tuesday, January 02, 2018 - 17:55

The controversial National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which sought to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a National Medical Commission was sent to a standing committee of Parliament on Tuesday.

The Bill was sent after requests from several opposition parties, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar informed the Lok Sabha.

Ananth also urged the Speaker to instruct the committee to give its report before the Budget Session of Parliament.

"All opposition parties have urged that the National Medical Commission Bill should be sent to a standing committee. On behalf of the government, I will say we are ready to send it to a standing committee. But I have one request, there is a Supreme Court order, and the Standing Committee on Health also recommended that a Bill should be brought soon," the Minister said.

"To clean the medical education system, this Bill is needed. Tell the standing committee to give its recommendations before the Budget Session, so that we can pass it in the Budget Session," he said.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that while a Parliamentary panel gets at least three months to look into a Bill, since this Bill was being sent to a panel for the second time, the report can come before the Budget session.

Earlier, during the Zero Hour, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy raised the issue and urged the Chair to send the Bill to a standing committee.

He said the House should take cognizance of the strike by doctors against the Bill.

The NCM Bill seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a National Medical Commission. The Bill would also allow practitioners of alternative medicines, or AYUSH doctors (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) to practice allopathy after completing a bridge course.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), which has 2.77 lakh members, which includes Corporate Hospitals, Polyclinics and nursing homes, had called for a 12-hour shutdown of all private hospitals in the country on Tuesday to protest the "anti-people and anti-patient" NMC Bill.

The IMA called off its 12-hour countrywide shutdown of OPD services at all private hospitals in the country after the government agreed to its demand and sent the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 to a select committee.

"We have called off the 12-hour strike as we have just been informed that the government has agreed to our demands and has sent the Bill to a select committee," K.K. Aggarwal, former president of IMA, told IANS.

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