Up in arms over the enactment of the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 despite opposition from the medical community, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) will withdraw non-emergency medical services, including out-patient department (OPD) services, across the country on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
IMA State president H.N. Ravindra said all State branches, local branches and individual members would participate in the 12-hour protest. Apart from non-emergency medical services, all elective procedures will also be deferred. Critical services, including deliveries, emergencies and in-patient care will be provided.
Responding to the IMA’s strike call, Manoj Jhalani, Union Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), directed the States to ensure that the strike does not adversely affect healthcare services and cause inconvenience to patients in hospitals. “Provisions of ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) may be invoked, if necessary,” he said in the letter.
Meanwhile, State Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey has directed all district health officers to cancel all leaves and ensure adequate number of staff are available in hospitals to attend to patients.
President of IMA, Mysuru, M.S. Vishveshwara said members of the association would go in a delegation and meet Deputy Commissioner Abhiram Sankar and submit a memorandum to voice their opposition to theBill.
“However, emergency services will not be affected,” Dr. Vishveshwara said. OPDs in all private hospitals would not function from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said. OPDs in nursing homes and clinics would also remain closed, he added.
However, government hospitals, including K.R. Hospital in Mysuru, are expected to function normally through the day.
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