New Delhi: Healthcare services at government hospitals, including AIIMS, Safdarjung and RML in national capital will remain hit on Friday as resident doctors have decided to continue their indefinite strike including shut down of emergency services. Notably, the doctors are protesting against the introduction of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

“General body meeting of the RDAs of AIIMS, Safdarjung, RML, FORDA, and URDA was held till late night and it was unanimously decided that the strike will continue on Friday,” one of the resident doctor of the associated associations said. According to reports, the doctors will refrain from working in OPDs, emergency departments, ICUs and operation theatres as a mark of protest against the Bill.

Meanwhile, a delegation of resident doctors of various hospital is likely to meet Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan later in the day.

Earlier on Thursday, the Rajya Sabha passed the National Medical Commission Bill for replacing the corruption-plagued MCI with a new body, in what was described by the government as one of the biggest reforms for medical education in the country.

Why Medical Fraternity is Opposing NMC Bill

The medical fraternity has termed the Bill “anti-poor, anti-student and undemocratic”. The Indian Medical Association, has also expressed reservations over several sections of the bill. It had given a call for a 24-hour withdrawal of non-essential services on Wednesday across the country.

Besides other clauses, they are objecting to section 45 of the bill, which, they claim, empowers the Union government to override any suggestion of the National Medical Commission.

“The provisions of the said bill are nothing short of draconian and promote gross incompetence and mockery of professionals currently working day and night and sacrificing their youth for this broken system.”

“If it is tabled in its current form in Rajya Sabha without any amendments, the medical fraternity across the country will be forced to resort to extreme measures, which may hamper healthcare services nationwide. We will withdraw from essential and non-essential services from hospitals for an indefinite period,” the AIIMS RDA, the FORDA and the Untied-RDA said in a joint statement.

The IMA is also opposing other provisions in the bill, including the decision to introduce the NEXT by scrapping the NEET-PG and regulation of fees by the NMC for 50 per cent seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.