New Delhi: Union Health Minister J P Nadda has ordered the formation of an inter-ministerial working committee to look into the demands of the Indian Medical Association in a time-bound manner, according to a statement issued by the IMA on Friday.
The committee will consist of the Additional Secretary Health, Joint Secretary Law, Joint Secretary Home, and Joint Secretary Consumer Affairs. In addition to this, it will also have a representative of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and three representatives of the IMA.
It would study all the suggestions and amendments suggested by the medical association on five issues and submit a report within six weeks. The five issues and suggestions put forward by the IMA are:
1) Frequent instances of assault on doctors and clinical establishments across the country and the need for a Central Hospital and Medical Doctors’ Protection Act.
2) Urgent amendments in the PCPNDT (Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques) Act to ensure that strict penalties are imposed only on the actual act of sex determination and female foeticide and not for clinical errors in the maintenance of registers etc. Also, the registration should be of ultrasound machines and not of doctors not providing pelvic ultrasound.
3) Single doctor establishments should be exempted from the purview of the Clinical Establishments Act and the need for pre-registration inspection should not be there for those clinical establishments which already have entry level NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers) accreditation.
4) Suitable amendments must be made in the Consumer Protection Act for capping the compensation amount as the current compensation practice, apart from being very high at times, is also “tilted in favour of those with higher incomes”.
5) The non-MBBS and non-BDS doctors should not be allowed to prescribe medicines under the modern system of medicine (scheduled H, H1, X) and the other stream practitioners like AYUSH doctors etc should not be allowed to practise through bridge courses and through government orders.
The IMA also suggested that the budgetary allocation for health should be increased to 5 percent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
According to the IMA, it has been pursuing these demands, including reducing violence against the medical fraternity, for over a year now. In this direction, the association recently delivered a notice to the Prime Minister, Union Health Minister, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Home Minister and Union Law Minister disclosing its plan to observe a Satyagraha on November 16.
In a joint statement, IMA National President Dr A Marthanda Pillai and Honorary Secretary General Dr K K Aggarwal said, “Taking into consideration of the above facts and sequences IMA is postponing the Satyagraha.”