The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for a nationwide 24-hour withdrawal of non-essential services.

The OPDs service in government hospitals across the country has been stopped today as part of protests against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill. The Indian Medical Association has called this nationwide 24-hour withdrawal of non-essential services. The bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday. As the doctors complain, the bill is supposed to encourage quacks.Demonstrations and hunger strikes are being held in all states. The IMA has asked medical students to boycott classes in solidarity. 

The Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) and the Resident Doctors Association (RDA), AIIMS, have asked members to wear black badges. 

“The Bill if not amended will only lead to a deterioration in the standards in medical education but will also lead to degradation of healthcare services,” an RDA statement said. 

The non-essential services including OPDs will be shut from 6 a.m. on Wednesday till 6 a.m. on Thursday. Emergency, casualty, ICU and related services will function normally. 

“Section 32 of the NMC Bill provides for licensing of 3.5 lakh unqualified non-medical persons to practise modern medicine. The term Community Health Provider has been vaguely defined to allow anyone connected with modern medicine to get registered in NMC and be licensed to practise modern medicine,” said R.V. Asokan, Secretary General, IMA.

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