Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Tuesday said the controversial National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill has been sent to the standing committee of Parliament even as doctors across the country have gone on a 12-hour countrywide strike called by the IMA.

The Union minister informed the Lok Sabha “after taking into the consideration the demands of several members of the House and medical fraternity, the National Medical Commission Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.”

He requested the Chair to ask the committee to give its recommendation prior to the Budget session.

Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister JP Nadda had said that he has spoken to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and also put forth the “perspective” of the government in view of the strike.

The IMA has called the strike against the NMC Bill, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body. The Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha last week.

On Monday, a delegation of the IMA led by President KK Aggarwal and its national President Ravi Wankhede met Nadda, seeking strict amendments in the Bill.

The IMA has called the Bill “anti-people and anti-patient”.

The new Bill will also allow practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homeopathy and ayurveda to practice allopathy after completing a bridge course.

The IMA has 2.77 lakh members, which includes corporate hospitals, poly-clinics and nursing homes, across the country.

The protests come as the Bill is set to be taken up for discussion in Parliament on Tuesday.