PGI doctors to boycott work today onwards in protest against NMC Bill

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The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare, meanwhile, warned of punitive action like termination of service if they do not join work immediately.

Those striking also include members of resident doctors' association of RML Hospital and those attached with the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) and United Resident Doctors' Association (URDA).

At AIIMS, resident doctors resumed emergency services around midnight but non-essential services, including OPD, remained suspended. When contacted, RDA President, Safdarjung hospital, Prakash Thakur, said that protest will continue.

Amid widespread protests, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in a late night tweet said he would table the NMC bill for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha on August 1. "Doctors should not defy their duties towards patients", Vardhan told reporters after meeting the resident doctors. They threatened to shut down emergency services again if the government does not agree to their demands. Emergency services, however, have resumed at several government hospitals in Delhi.

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. It was unanimously passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday amid protests by the opposition who called it an act of "diluting power" from the doctors' fraternity to the government. RDA Bihar chapter president Dr Binay Kumar said the meeting was not fruitful and the strike would continue.

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On Thursday, Rajya Sabha had passed the National Medical Commission Bill for replacing the corruption-plagued MCI with a new body, in what was described by the government as one of the biggest reforms for medical education in the country. There's also a disagreement over the concept of Community Health Providers (CHP) included in the Bill.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has raised concerned over Section 32 of the NMC Bill that provides for licensing of 3.5 lakhs non medical persons or Community Health Providers to practise modern medicine.

Doctors of several associations have been expressing reservations over certain provisions of the bill.

"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 AIIMS RDA, the FORDA and the URDA had earlier said in a joint statement. "The NMC Bill will give undue favours to the private medical colleges or unaided universities by decreasing the percentage of seats under the controlled fee structure from 85 per cent to 50 per cent", they said.

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