Monday, October 2, 2017

IMA to organize a dawn-to-dusk fast on Gandhi Jayanthi

·         All doctors of modern medicine will join this silent protest which is a follow up to the DilliChalo movement held in June 2017
·        The fast aims to draw attention towards the issues facing the medical fraternity and request urgent implementation of suggested changes

New Delhi, 01 October 2017As an outcome of an Action Group meeting, and later ratified by the State Presidents and State Secretaries meeting in Delhi on 6th June 2017, the IMA will organize a dawn-to-dusk fast throughout the country on 2 October 2017. The fast is a move towards drawing the government and people's attention to the violence in hospitals. Through this peaceful protest, the IMA also aims to reinforce its demand for Central Hospital Protection Act and the implementation of the inter-ministerial committee recommendations, which were a result of its month-long campaign that concluded with the Dilli Chalo movement in June this year.

As a precursor to this fast, the IMA has written an open letter to the Prime Minister requesting his urgent intervention in matters ailing the medical fraternity and also to solve the problems facing the health sector. Among the many issues that need attention are faulty health policy over the years, doctor-to-patient ratio, spending on healthcare, private health sector, medical education, improvement in social determinants such as water and sanitation, violence against doctors, modifications to the PCPNDT Act, capping on compensation for medical negligence, and removal of NEXT.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, "IMA has been on the path of agitation for implementation of the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee and other demands for the past one year. As an outburst of anger and frustration more, than 10,000 doctors marched from Rajghat on 6 June 2017 and over 90,000 participated digitally in the Dilli Chalo Protest. This fast is a reminder for requesting that our issues be resolved in a time bound manner. The increasing violence against doctors, criminal prosecution of doctors and uncapped compensation are serious issues and need immediate intervention. It is high time that steps are taken to restore the nobility of the profession to serve the society better. The IMA also requests for an evidence-based health policy to solve the issues mentioned above to protect the health of the public.”

The IMA represents over 3 lakh modern medicine doctors spread across 1,700 local branches and 31 state and territorial branches. All doctors of modern medicine will be a part of this fast which is a continuation of the DilliChalo movement. The fast will be held in Delhi; Sabarmati, Gujarat; and Wardha, Maharashtra.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Our health parameters have a long way to go to reach the status of even developing countries. We lack evidence- and data-based health care policy. Health care is not addressed from a public health point of view and emphasis is given to curative medicine only. Instead of the government spending more on health care, the burden of free health care is forced on the private medical sector. Only doctor-friendly acts,rules, and judgements can be patient friendly.  A doctor should work in an environment which is friendly, relaxed, confidence building, and free of violence to deliver his best to the patient. Clerical errors and minor noncompliance should not attract criminal provisions under the PCPNDT Act.Double standard in awarding compensation should be eliminated and compensation on medical negligence should also be capped. The time for urgent action is now and our efforts will continue till such time that our demands are met.”

The Perfect Health Mela 2017 to be held between 4th and 8th October 2017 at the Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi, will address many of these issues faced by the medical fraternity and the public. The Mela will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi, Shri Arvind Kejriwal. Apart from this, the Mela will also discuss pertinent health issues and offer free health checkups to people.

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