In what was perhaps the largest peaceful Satyagraha against the many issues faced by the medical fraternity, a huge majority of doctors, MBBS students, and others associated with the profession took part in the Dilli Chalo movement held today in the National Capital.
The movement was a fitting conclusion to the intensive month-long campaign by IMA aimed at raising awareness on and bringing to light the issues faced by the medical profession. IMA is a unified voice and the collective consciousness of the medical profession in the country.
The peaceful protest was joined by over 70,000 doctors from all over India including the IMA National and State branch leadership and representatives of National Medical Associations such as Federation of Obstetrics & Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Association of Physicians of India (API) and the Cardiological Society of India (CSI) amongst others. Those not present in person joined digitally over a live webcast.
Speaking at the deliberations, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, ‘This is one of the toughest times for the medical fraternity. This Satyagraha comes after the realization that enough is enough, and that repeated pleas and appeals by the medical fraternity have materialized into nothing except reassurances. The agitation among doctors has been evident for a long time now. New draconian acts implicating penal provisions on clerical errors and violations of clauses not linked to medical treatment in West Bengal Clinical Establishment Act are not in the interest of the profession and therefore, the society at large. The need of the hour is collective action and decision which would do justice to this profession.
‘The last few months have seen several other initiatives by the IMA on this front such as STOP NMC
Sathyagraha, two National Protest Days against violence on doctors, NO to NEXT strike in medical
colleges, and the National Black Day against West Bengal Clinical Establishments Act. Other than this, 3 action committee meetings and 2 meetings of Federation of Medical Associations of India were also conducted’.
Adding further, Padma Shri Awardee Dr Marthanda Pillai, Past National President, IMA and Past President IMA Kerala State Branch in his statement said that it is imperative for both doctors and patients to understand that their relationship is a sacred one and that the dignity of the profession needs to be upheld. It won’t be wrong to say that justice has been denied to doctors even within the framework of the constitution of India. This movement should not be misconstrued as a strike or an agitation of any kind. Its sole aim is to serve as a wake-up call to the government and take urgent action."
Addressing the huge gathering of medical professionals, Dr R V Asokan, Chairman, Action Committee IMA and Chairman Hospital Board of India added, ‘This protest is an indication that medical professionals will no longer take any form of injustice. People are indulging in violence against doctors, which is further being condoned by governments and other institutions. Prescription rights of doctors are being trampled upon which can have disastrous consequences for patients. There is absolutely no end to the injustice being heaped upon the medical fraternity and this noble profession. This movement should be enough to urge the government to take urgent action failing which the agitation is only bound to increase’.
The Dilli Chalo movement aimed to address the following demands by the medical fraternity.
Criminal prosecution of medical negligence and clerical errors
Stringent central act against violence on doctors
Capping the compensation in CPA on doctors
Professional autonomy in treatment and prescriptions
Amendments in PC PNDT, Central CEA, West Bengal CEA Acts
No unscientific mixing of systems of medicine
·Empower MBBS graduates
One drug – One company – One price
Implement inter-ministerial committee recommendations in six weeks
Single window accountability
Single window registration of doctors and medical establishments
No to NMC: Amend IMC act to maintain professional autonomy
Uniform final MBBS exam instead of ‘NEXT’
Uniform service conditions for service doctors & faculty
Same work – Same pay – Pay parity – No to adhocism
Fair conduction of NEET exam
IMA member in every government health committee
Central anti-quackery law
Reimbursement of emergency services provided by private sector
25000 family medicine PG seats
Aided hospitals and retainer ship in general practice
Health budget of 5 % of GDP for universal health coverage
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