Doctors’ nation-wide satyagraha today

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) will hold a two-hour satyagraha on Wednesday, International Tolerance Day, across the country, seeking a time-bound implementation of its demands by the Central government.

The IMA had planned to hold a satyagraha last November itself but decided to postpone it after the Centre agreed to form a committee to look into its demands.

The IMA has issued a six-point demand that includes continuing the professional autonomy of the Medical Council of India (MCI), capping of compensation on the lines of clinical trials formula and protection of doctors while at work. “The MCI should not be made a nominated body. The government should maintain the professional autonomy of the MCI by amending the existing MCI Act to make it more stringent. Also, compensation cannot be on the income of the patient, but should be based only on the fees charged by the doctor,” K.K. Agarwal, Secretary General, IMA, told The Hindu after a meeting of its Central Working Committee on Sunday.

On single clinics

He said the IMA demanded that single clinical establishments should be out of the purview of Clinical Establishment Act. “Under it, single clinics will be treated as corporates which means the cost of treatment will go up for patients. It defeats the whole purpose of subsidised treatment being provided by single clinics,” he said.

“We will give the government six weeks’ time to reply to our demands. The inter-ministerial committee constituted by the government said it could only make recommendations and not give us any assurances on its implementation. If we don’t get a satisfactory reply, we will decide on the next course of action in another meeting,” Dr. Agarwal said.

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