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Doctors in Nagaland participate in nationwide strike; OPD services largely affected

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Dimapur, August 1: Along with the rest of the country, Nagaland Chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) under the Presidentship of Dr. Kezevituo Keditsu participated in the nationwide strike called by the IMA on Wednesday.
All the private hospitals in all the districts had a deserted look with minimal attendance and the Out Patient Department (OPD) had hardly any patient’s intake. However, emergency services and the In Patient Department (IPD) were not much affected.
Dr. Kezevituo Keditsu told Nagaland Page that the bandh was observed by the members of the Nagaland Chapter of the IMA with much vigor and it was total bandh all over the states. All the doctors and private nursing homes and hospitals observed the bandh and extended their support and solidarity for the IMA cause, he disclosed.
He said, “With the passage of the National Medical Commission Bill, doctors all over India under the aegis of IMA organized a nationwide bandh protesting the bill and the IMA will fight against the bill tooth and nail”.
When queried on the bill, Dr. Keditsu stated that the passage of the bill is an unhappy happening and the IMA was not even consulted. “It was arbitrarily imposed,” he said.
He said, “We are just a small fry, it is a big organization, we just follow the center, but I firmly believe that if the doctors are united then some solution will be found. Even the Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan is himself a member of the IMA- Delhi unit. When he was not the minister, he was all out against the bill but once he was appointed the Health Minister, he suddenly changed sides and is in favor of the bill. He seems to have knelt before the party politics”.
When Nagaland Page contacted Superintendent of Dimapur District Hospital, Dr. Kheshito Zhimomi, he stated that in District hospital everything was stopped except the emergency services.
He said, “The OPD remained closed, IPD remained the same, only emergency cases were treated upon. We fully support the bandh” and added that as per sources, all the doctors participated in the bandh.
On enquiring about the Bill, Dr. Kheshito Zhimomi said, “Oh, my God, it is a blunder, a grave mistake which will take years to rectify that the government department had made”.
He stressed on the demerits of the Medical Bill citing many examples and said that to become a specialist and super-specialist, it takes more than ten years of practical practice. But now somebody who is a Pharmacist, Nurse, practitioners of Ayurveda, Homeopathy, etc will be issued a license to practice.
Dr. Kheshito Zhimomi said, “We don’t say that they are not educated. I don’t know whether I am quoting the wrong or what but it is another way of massacring the people. It is a very dangerous step”, he cautioned.
He further stated that after clearing the MBBS, one automatically doesn’t become a doctor, he needs to practically practice for years and to go further steps he has to put in so many years and training but the present bill randomly provides the license to practice to nurse, pharmacists, etc.
He said, “Everyone will be issued the license to practice and the Government of India should specify who is included in the license categories”.
He cautioned that in such circumstances even quacks sitting on the roadside selling herbs will be availing a license officially to practice as doctors and mentioned that especially Nagaland is also famous for the many hundreds of quacks lined up. The medical life will abruptly suffer from serious complications.
He said, “There is going to be bloodshed, controversies and disasters looming over in the state as they do not know the ‘ABC’ of the physical health and medications. We are not against them and anybody but they need to know basic studies of human health and medications.” He said that even a pharmacist will not be able to describe the chemical compositions of medicines and with the present bill he will be issued a license to practice.
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association, Nagaland State Branch has extended gratitude to all members of the medical community for unanimously joining in the withdrawal of non-essential medical services in protest of the draconian National Medical Commission Bill which was approved and passed by the Lok Sabha on July 29.
This undemocratic and senseless bill has plunged healthcare and medical education back to the dark ages, it said.
In a statement issued by the IMA, the Association stated, “Section 32 of the NMC Bill provides for licensing of 3.5 lakhs unqualified non medical persons to practice modern medicine. The term Community Health Provider has been vaguely defined to allow anyone connected with modern medicine to get registered in NMC and be licensed to practice modern medicine. This would mean that all paramedics including pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, optometrists and others are becoming eligible to practise modern medicine and prescribe independently. This law legalises quackery.”
IMA, Nagaland State Branch appealed to all medical doctors to continue opposing this bill & further appealed to all sections of society to join them in correcting this egregious travesty. (Page News Service)

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