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Indian Doctors' Protest Supported by WMA

Indian Doctors' Protest Supported by WMA

(15.11.2016) A peaceful demonstration by thousands of Indian doctors tomorrow (Wednesday) over the Indian Government’s move to undermine the self-governance of the medical profession has been supported by the World Medical Association.

The Indian Medical Association is mounting a major nationwide campaign in protest at moves to scrap the Medical Council of India. The present Council has 130 members, having a representative character with two thirds elected and one third nominated professional members representing the entire spectrum of professional stake holders. The new body, the National Medical Commission, would have 19 handpicked members nominated by the Government of India. It will be a 100 per cent nominated Commission with no representative character, mostly comprising non-doctors without any autonomy.

Thousands of physicians in every state across India are expected to take part in a two-hour peaceful demonstration to urge the Government to think again about the reforms.

Dr. Ardis Hoven, Chair of the WMA, said: ‘The autonomy of the medical profession is under threat throughout the world and what is happening in India is happening or likely to happen elsewhere. Physicians everywhere have to speak out against the marginalisation of the medical profession and in support of professional autonomy which is essential for the good of high quality patient care.

‘The new Commission proposed by the Indian Government effectively means that non-doctors handpicked by the government will be regulating the medical profession without any autonomy. That is unacceptable’.

Tomorrow’s nationwide action by Indian doctors is also a protest at continuing violence against physicians and the criminalisation of medical errors.