IMA members demand action against increasing cases of assault on members of medical fraternity

More than three lakh members of the 1,700 Indian Medical Association (IMA) branches across the country on Monday sat on a dawn-todusk fast from 6 am to 6 pm to protest against the increasing incidents of assaults on doctors.

The day is also commemorated as the International Day of Non Violence by the United Nations in memory of Mahatma Gandhi, said the protesters. The fast comes after the ‘Dilli Chalo’ movement of IMA held on June 6 and marks continuing demand for a strong central legislation against the violence against doctors, amendments in the Clinical Establishment Act (CEA) and Pre- Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, pay parity and uniform service conditions across India, capping of the compensation amount awarded and not allowing non-MBBS and non-BDS doctors to prescribe medicines under the modern system of medicine, among others.

Dr KK Aggarwal, IMA national president, said, “We demand immediate implementation of the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee. The government had constituted it on November 13, 2015 with IMA as a party to examine the issues raised by the members. As an outcome of persistent efforts of IMA for the past two years, the committee considered our demands and the health ministry also forwarded the recommendations to the concerned ministries for necessary action. But, they are yet to be implemented.”

The demands of the medical fraternity also include stopping criminal prosecution of medical negligence and clerical errors, capping the compensation in Consumer Protection Act (CPA) on doctors, single window registration of doctors and medical establishments, uniform final MBBS exam instead of the National Exit Test (NEXT).

Ashok Tambe, state president of IMA, shared, “The CEA is not statefriendly. CEA makes it mandatory for private clinical establishments to stabilise trauma victims. Similarly, in case of natural disasters, sexual abuse and other manmade disasters like fire, cracker explosions, spurious liquor tragedy etc., the private health sector is forced to give free treatment. Single doctor establishments should be exempted from the purview of the CEA. The Act is being implemented without taking into consideration the ground realities.”

Dr Prakash Marathe, president of the Pune branch, added, “Urgent amendments are needed in the PCPNDT Act to ensure that strict penalties are imposed only on actual acts of sex determination or female foeticide.”

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