Published: Sun, August 04, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Over 1,300 resident doctors at PGIMER go on strike

Over 1,300 resident doctors at PGIMER go on strike

The resident doctors' associations of AIIMS, Safdarjung, RML and those attached with FORDA and URDA made a decision to continue their strike following meetings held till late night, after the passage of the National Medical Commission Bill in Rajya Sabha.

"Resident doctors will refrain from working in OPDs, emergency departments and ICUs as a mark of protest on Thursday and the strike will continue for an indefinite period if the bill is tabled and passed in the Rajya Sabha", Dr Sumedh Sandanshiv, president, Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA), said, alleging that the bill was "anti-poor, anti-student and undemocratic".

Following the Ministry's direction, the Hospital Administrations have issued memorandums to their resident doctors to resume work.

Emergency services at major government hospitals in Delhi, including All India Institutes of Medical Sciences and Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, resumed around Friday midnight, PTI reported.

"To protest against the NMC Bill, resident doctors will withdraw all hospital services from 8am on Saturday".

Stating that they had no intention to cause inconvenience to patients, the protesting doctors said they had no option but to go on strike against some provisions of the NMC Bill.

"This Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC)". We have given a strict ultimatum to resident doctors to join their duties by 11 am today.

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Routine surgeries were cancelled and only emergency cases were being performed at several facilities, authorities said.

The Bill provides that the common final year MBBS exam be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) which would serve as a licentiate exam for entrance to post-graduate medical courses and as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.

Resident doctors of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Hospital, B.R. Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital, DDU Hospital and Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital also boycotted work and joined the stir.

Doctors of several associations have been expressing reservations over certain provisions of the bill. There's also a disagreement over the concept of Community Health Providers (CHP) included in the Bill.

National Medical Commission Bill 2019, which seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 has been passed by Parliament.

"The provisions of the said bill are nothing short of draconian and promote gross incompetence and mockery of professionals now working day and night and sacrificing their youth for this broken system", the doctors had earlier said in a joint statement. "Otherwise, we are taking action against them", Dr Sunil Gupta, the hospital's medical director, told ANI.

The NMC Bill will take over the functions of the Medical Council of India (MCI) with regards to medical education.

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