Doctors protest against NMC bill outside AIIMS

Published: Wed, 02/07/2018 - 11:40

According to the bill, practitioners of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy, can practise modern medicine once they complete a short-term “bridge” course

Nearly 100 young doctors took out a protest march from AIIMS hospital to Parliament on February 6 against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017.

Terming the bill as unacceptable one of the protesting doctors said, “We are demanding the withdrawal of this bill. The NMC bill is unacceptable and unfair.” The doctors assembled outside AIIMS raised slogans like, “Gali Gali doctor banaoge, ilaj kisse karaoge” and “Marizo ko bachana hai, NMC bill hatana hai.


Raising questions about the ability and clinical skills of such doctors who would emerge after taking these ‘bridge’ courses, a young doctor amidst the group said, “How can a ‘bridge’ course be at par with our a five-year course.”

The bill tabled by Union Health Minister JP Nadda in the Rajya Sabha last month seeks to replace and subsume the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body. According to the bill, practitioners of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy, can practise modern medicine once they complete a short-term “bridge” course that would bridge the gap between these branches and modern medicine.

Raising questions about the ability and clinical skills of such doctors who would emerge after taking these ‘bridge’ courses, a young doctor amidst the group said, “How can a ‘bridge’ course be at par with our a five-year course.” He added, “Will you accept or can you imagine a doctor suggesting you put wooden slings instead of a plaster in case of a broken leg?” Soon, he joined others in booing down the proposed bill: “NMC haye haye.” The bill also proposes a common entrance exam and to licentiate (exit) exam, which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practising licenses. It aims at bringing reforms in the medical education sector, which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices. The doctors have also written to the Health Ministry and the parliamentary committee asking for the withdrawal of a certain clause.

In a report by a national daily, Medical Education Minister Sharanprakash Patil had raised objections to the NMC bill and particularly to the proposal to conduct uniform exit exams for medical students. “These students would have already written the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and other examinations during their course. What is the need for another exam? This does not make sense particularly when there is a shortage of doctors,” he had said, adding that he planned to take it up with the Centre.