Row over NMC bill: On Day 2 of doctors’ stir, health services crippled

Doctors are still unhappy with the deliberation of the health minister and threatened to continue the stir for the second consecutive day.

Written by August 2, 2019 17:05

New Delhi: Medical facilities and healthcare services have been affected for the second consecutive day in the national capital as thousands of doctors have shut down their services in protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) bill 2019.

Earlier in the day, agitating resident doctors met Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to discuss provisions of the bill. Doctors are still unhappy with the deliberation of the health minister and threatened to continue the stir for the second consecutive day.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) and United Resident Doctors Association (URDA) have been protesting against the NMC bill since Thursday. Due to the strike, patients visiting hospitals are facing a difficult time.

Ram Kumar, a patient visiting AIIMS OPD said, “Today was my OPD date but I could not find any doctor for my small ortho procedure. Doctors are on strike. It is so difficult to get the treatment. I don’t know when I will get my next date for consultation”.

Another patient, Neetu Kumari who is suffering from liver disease and visiting AIIMS from Bihar for treatment, also faced similar woes.

Under treatment for the last one year, she said, “I reached Delhi yesterday because it was my OPD date. After arriving here I got to know that doctors are on strike. Who will listen to us now?”

Thousands of patients are running from pillar to post looking for medical services in the national capital.

Medical services at Lok Nayak hospital, RML hospital, Safdarjung Hospital and Hindu Rao Hospital have also been put on halt due to the ongoing strike.

Dr VK Tiwari, Medical Director of RML hospital, confirmed to ANI that resident doctors have continued their strike for the second consecutive day.

“We get nearly 7000 patients every day including emergency and OPD. It is up to resident doctors to decide on calling off the strike. However, any serious patients in the emergency is being treated by senior doctors,” Tiwari said.

Earlier in the day, doctors held a meeting with Harsh Vardhan, during which the Health Minister assured that provisions of the NMC will protect the sanctity of medical education and appealed to them to end the strike.

However, the doctors expressed dissatisfaction over the outcomes of the meeting and decided to continue with the strike.

“We are not happy and satisfied with the meeting with the health minister. We are continuing our strike. We will be having our general body meeting and will then decide accordingly about the status of the strike”, said Dr Sumedh Sandhanshiv, FoRDA, president.

Doctors have shown their dissatisfaction over different sections of the NMC bill. Agitating doctors have also expressed concern over alleged privatisation of medical education.

“The NMC bill will give undue favours to the private medical colleges/unaided universities by decreasing the percentage of seats under the controlled fee structure from 85 to 50 per cent,” said doctors.

Many medical practitioners have shown reservations over the proposal of abolishing NEET-PG and other similar provisions. (ANI)