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Doctors wear black badges to work to protest against NMC Bill

Doctors across the state wore black badges to work on Tuesday to protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body.

Healthcare services remained largely normal across the state with the outpatient departments (OPD) of National Medical College and Hospital, NRS Medical College and Hospital and RG Kar Hospital attending to the patients like any other day, West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) chairman Dr Nirmal Maji told PTI today.

Maji also condemned the bill that was tabled in Parliament on Friday and said it would ruin the medical infrastructure in the country.

“This is a Tughlaqi decision. This is a dangerous move and may ruin the medical system in the country. The bill will be a boost for quack doctors,” Maji told PTI today.

Around 76,325 doctors in the state participated in Tuesday’s protest, he said.

“I have spoken to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday morning and she has given instructions for ensuring normal services. And our doctors, unlike some other states, are not skipping work. They are wearing black badges to work as a mark of protest,” Maji said.

A protest rally, organised in the city after OPD hours, witnessed the participation of doctors affiliated to the IMA’s state unit and WBMC in large numbers.

A senior official of the NRS Medical College and Hospital said the doctors are committed to their work and would not let their patients suffer.

The NMC Bill proposes to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body and allow practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, to practice allopathy after completing a “bridge course”.

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday sent the contentious bill to a standing committee and asked it to submit its report before the budget session.

The IMA said the bill, if passed, will “cripple” the functioning of medical professionals by making them answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.

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