New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has gone on a token strike from Wednesday 6 AM till Thursday. The 24-hour withdrawal of non-essential services across the country is in protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Association of Resident Doctors’ (ARD) of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, on Wednesday extended its full and unconditional support for the cause of nationwide protest against the NMC Bill, 2019.

Doctors at Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad are also staging protests against the NMC Bill.

The bill, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India, according to the IMA, is “anti-poor, anti-student and anti-democratic”. The IMA, the largest body of doctors and students in the country with around three lakh members, has called for demonstrations and hunger strikes at its local branches and also asked medical students to boycott classes.

It said it would intensify agitation if the government did not address their concerns. Meanwhile, doctors associated with the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association and Resident Doctors’ Association at AIIMS showed up to work wearing black badges as a mark of protest.

Doctors also staged a protest outside the AIIMS, New Delhi, on Monday, against the NMC Bill. The IMA and doctors claim that the Bill will only give a boost to quacks and intensify such practitioners in rural areas.

“Be it Parliament be it streets will always stand for the rights of Doctors & medical students,” tweeted IMA President Santanu Sen, in protest against the bill.