With the Indian Medical Association (IMA) calling for a 12-hour shutdown of all private hospitals to protest the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, the Union Health Ministry on Monday directed central government health institutions, including Safdarjung hospital, to take necessary measures to ensure that patient health care and emergency run smoothly. “It has come to the notice that the Indian Medical Association (IMA) would be on one day strike on January 2, 2018 (from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m). Since the strike may involve a large number of medical professionals, it is anticipated that there would be an inconvenience to the patient care services in the hospitals,” said the advisory issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“It is requested that all necessary measures may be taken to ensure that patient health care and emergency services are run smoothly,” added the advisory. The advisory has been issued to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The Ministry has also sought a compliance report from all the hospitals. The IMA on Monday called for a 12-hour shutdown of all private hospitals in the country on Tuesday to protest the “anti-people and anti-patient” NMC Bill, 2017, that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).
The IMA has 2.77 lakh members, which includes Corporate Hospitals, Polyclinics and Nursing homes, across the country. The demand comes after a delegation of the IMA led by President K.K. Aggarwal and its national president Ravi Wankhede met Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda, seeking strict amendments in the Bill that was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Friday. “IMA strongly opposes this Bill and has no option but to take the issues to our patients and the people. We have called for 12-hour shutdown of our member hospitals and health institutions tomorrow (January 2) during which the routine medical services like OPD and elective surgeries across the country will be withdrawn between 9 a.m.-9 p.m.,” Wankhede told IANS.