IMA strike hits healthcare services in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Health care services were partially affected in parts of Odisha today as doctors joined a 12-hour strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in protest against a bill that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India with a new body.

A protest rally organised from Power House Chhak to Raj Bhavan here saw the participation of medical students and doctors in large numbers.

Dhananjay Das, a senior doctor at govt-run Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, said the bill, if passed, will upset the medical fraternity in the country.

"The bill will bring down the standards of medical education in the country. It will be a big blow to the entire medical fraternity?" he said.

The general secretary of the Odisha chapter of the IMA, Janmejaya Mohapatra, said the strike has affected healthcare services in outpatient departments of a few government and private hospitals, but the emergency and critical departments were functioning normally.

The National Medical Commission Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday, seeks to replace the MCI with a new body and proposes to allow practitioners of alternative medicines such as homeopathy and ayurveda to practise allopathy after completing a "bridge course".

Terming the Bill as "anti-people and anti-patient", the IMA, in a statement, has stated that the bill purported to eradicate corruption is "designed to open the floodgates of corruption". -PTI 

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