Hospitals and doctors in the city observed a 12-hour strike from 6 am on Saturday demanding that the Centre withdraw the National Medical Commission Bill, which they see as ‘anti-poor, anti-people and anti-medical profession’.

As part of a nationwide strike, all private doctors and hospitals shut their doors for outpatients till six in the evening. However, emergency services were attended to.

Speaking at a press conference, IMA Vijayawada president Dr. M.S.C. Bose said that the Bill would have an adverse impact on the people from rural areas. “Giving medical degree to any inexperienced person who undergoes a six-month training is not justifiable,” Dr. Bose said.

IMA city secretary Dr. Rasik Sangvi said private medical colleges would be forced to shut down once the provisions of the Bill were implemented, he added. He also expressed concern over the lack of regulation of fees in private medical colleges.

Former IMA national president Dr. G. Samaram and Andhra Hospitals chief Dr. P.V. Ramana Murthy said 80% of people were dependent on private hospitals and doctors in the country.

The association members threatened to intensify the agitation if the Central government failed to address the issue. Doctors submitted a memorandum to the Collector and MP Kesineni Srinivas.

Protest rally

In Tirupati, except for emergency cases and in-patient care, the medical services were closed for people from 6 am to 6 pm, with doctors and medical students taking to streets, voicing their displeasure over the recommendations made in the NMC Bill.

A.P. Private Nursing Homes Association State president Dr.D. Srihari Rao, who is also the State president-elect for IMA, flayed the Central government for disregarding the amendments made by the Parliament Select Committee and going ahead with the draft Bill. He opined that NMC Bill would benefit the rich and impact those hailing from poorer backgrounds, when pursuing medical education.

Earlier, members of the IMA, the A.P. Junior Doctors Association and others, staged a protest and took out a rally from Ruia hospital.

Central govt. flayed

In Kurnool district, doctors and medical students staged a protest at the Gandhi statue near the Collectorate and stayed away from duties.

IMA Kurnool unit president and general secretary Dr. Shiva Shankar Reddy and Dr.C. Mallikarjun, respectively, flayed the Centre’s indifference to their demands to make a few amendments in the NMC Bill.

Medical representatives extended solidarity with the protest.

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