State-wide protests were held against certain draconian provisions of the newly passed National Medical Commission bill by Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) across Punjab. Units of PCMSA in various districts took part in the protest by wearing black badges while on duty, but no OPD or emergency services were disrupted.
PCMSA takes a strong stand in protest against certain clauses of t
he NMC especially the use of bridge course is a stop gap measure to improve rural health care by merely increasing the number of health workers in the rural areas without any increase in the quality of services, said Dr Gagandeep Singh and Dr Gagandeep Singh Shergill. The association takes grave notice of the misinformed policy of the government by not addressing the core issues of lack of budget, recourses and modernisation of health care services in the rural areas.
“The association also protests the deregulation of both the fee structure and the quality checks in medical education and sees the "exit test" as a way enabling private colleges of providing substandard education while entrapping students to face an all or none situation after 4 1/2 years of studies”, they added.
They further added, “While the association fully understands the need of replacement of the archaic MCI it strongly protests the lack of autonomy of the incumbent NMC. The association fears about the politicisation of an important body like the NMC in the future in the absence of such autonomy”.