IMA’s (Indian Medical Association) call for action was responded very well by doctors across the country on July 28th, 2018. The withdrawal of non-emergency services affected patients in almost all major states, especially in tier 2, 3, 4 cities and towns.
IMA National President Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar claimed a moral victory over the government. IMA’s call against the NMC Bill has generated awareness in doctors’ community and understanding amongst common people as well. Many ordinary people identified themselves with the cause for which the doctors were fighting. "The Struggle will continue," he said.
He further said, "Withdrawal of non-emergency services was only a warning signal to the government. IMA will intensify its agitation if the government tries to bulldoze this pro-rich Anti-democratic, Anti federal NMC bill which will promote corruption. We want the government to reconsider the current bill. We appeal to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and protect the interest of marginalized & underprivileged sections of the society."
Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar also pointed out and said, "50% of the seats in the private medical colleges will go to the highest bidder. He reiterated that this is an issue for the common man. There was a necessity for the community to wake up. The cost of medical education in the country will escalate many folds and will become unaffordable to even the upper middle classes of people. Taste of what was to come was seen in Uttarakhand and Maharashtra where the management raised the fee to around 25 Lakhs per year for MBBS.
The marginalisation of State Governments, State Medical councils, State Health universities and state medical graduates cannot be ignored. Indeed, it is a direct threat to the federal nature of our constitution. The state governments should take up the cause which IMA is fighting for. Institutions of excellence like the Medical Council are a temple of democracy and represent the true plural nature of the country."
He also cleared that common final year Exit exam is a conceptual flaw violating the Universities Act. Between the EXIT exam and the NEET, the students will become the cannon fodder especially, students from OBC, SC, and ST category.
Dr. A Marthanda Pillai, Action committee chairman said, "NMC will function as an extended government department. Autonomy of regulation is the right of the medical profession. Allowing bureaucrats and non-medical persons to trample with the regulation of medical education and practice is a nightmare."
Dr. R N Tandon Honorary Secretary General of IMA said that IMA was getting ready for a long struggle. Efforts were on to get all the specialty organisations, Resident Doctors Organisations, Service Doctors Organisations, and Medical Students to join in the next phase.
Dr. Wankhedkar also said that the trust imposed by IMA on the Prime Minister by partnering AYUSHMAN BHARAT was lost in the NMC quagmire. He expressed confidence that the medical fraternity would have the last word on how the profession would be governed.