Over 1,300 resident doctors at PGIMER go on strike

Doctors hold nationwide strike against NMC bill, withdraw emergency services

Doctors hold nationwide strike against NMC bill, withdraw emergency services

Services at government hospitals in Delhi were affected for the third day in a row on Saturday as almost 20,000 resident doctors and medical students continued their strike against the National Medical Commission (NMC).

Emergency services at major government hospitals in Delhi, including All India Institutes of Medical Sciences and Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, resumed around Friday midnight, PTI reported.

Thakur said the strike would continue indefinitely until their concerns are addressed.

PGIMER authorities have advised patients that all routine services, including OPDs and elective procedure, would remain suspended till further notice.

"I have been asked by the ministry to inform you that if the striking doctors do not resume their duties immediately, strict punitive action like suspension/termination of services, vacation of hostel accommodation will be initiated immediately against all striking doctors", said Medical Superintendent Sunil Gupta in a letter addressed to the hospital's resident doctor's association president.

On Saturday, a heavy police deployment was made outside AIIMS and at Safdarjung Hospital, across the road, after the doctors protesting against the National Medical Council Bill got agitated on hearing about the warning.

"This is really sad that at Safdarjung hospital, medical services have shut down including emergency healthcare facilities".

The AIIMS resident doctors association is also concerned that this will take away the autonomy of designing their own curriculum from institutes like AIIMS, PGIMER which will have to align the courses according to NEXT. They listed a series of questions in their statement about the bill and said they would continue the strike.

The doctors are still concerned that once the community health workers are given a license, the government will not be able to ensure where they practice.

As per the Bill, a NMC will be set up in place of MCI that will have responsibilities such as approving and assessing medical colleges, conducting common MBBS entrance and exit examinations and regulating medical course fees.

"The ambiguity of the term "Person connected with modern medical profession" needs to be clarified. It will infact overburden the system by having to deal with the consequences of mismanaged cases", he said.

The Indian Medical Association, which has also expressed reservations over several sections of the Bill, had given a call for a 24-hour withdrawal of non-essential services on Wednesday across the country.