Following a strike by 1,200 resident doctors protesting against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, medical services at Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) were severely affected on Saturday.
However, emergency and intensive care units (ICUs) were exempted from the strike.
The indefinite strike call was given by the Association of Resident Doctors. “To protest against the NMC Bill, resident doctors have been withdrawn from all services, barring emergencies and ICUs,” Association President Uttam Thakur told IANS.
The PGIMER said all the routine services, including OPDs and elective procedures, have been suspended till further notice in view of the indefinite strike call given by the resident doctors.
On August 1, Rajya Sabha passed the controversial National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 which would replace the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 even as scores of resident doctors of many government hospitals withdrew all services including emergency services in protest against the Bill.
PGIMER has appealed to the faculty members to remain present on duty as nearly 1,200 resident doctors would be observing strike.
An official spokesperson said elective services would be suspended, but emergency and intensive care areas, including emergency operation theatres, would not be affected. The PGIMER caters to patients from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.
On July 23, a large number of doctors and MBBS students of many hospitals of Delhi-NCR had staged a protest outside AIIMS against the NMC Bill, describing it as “anti-poor, anti-people” and “against the democratic structure of India”. The protesting doctors had demanded major changes in the Bill.
NMC Bill reportedly proposes to regulate the fees and other charges of up to 50 per cent of the total seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also expressed its dissatisfaction with the provisions of the Bill.