Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) held a mass protest in the national capital on Tuesday highlighting the demands of the medical fraternity. Known as “Dilli Chalo” movement, a huge number of doctors, MBBS students, and others associated with the profession took part in the peaceful protest.
The movement was a fitting conclusion to the intensive month-long campaign by IMA aimed at raising awareness on the issues faced by the medical profession.
Over 70,000 doctors from all over India, including the IMA National and State branch leadership and representatives of National Medical Associations such as Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Association of Physicians of India (API) and the Cardiological Society of India (CSI), amongst others took part.
In a joint statement, Padma Shri Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, National President, IMA and President of Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI); and Dr. R.N. Tandon, Secretary General, IMA, said, “This Satyagraha comes after the realisation that repeated pleas by the medical fraternity have materialized into nothing except reassurances. The agitation among doctors has been evident for a long time now. New draconian acts implicating penal provisions on clerical errors and violations of clauses not linked to medical treatment in West Bengal Clinical Establishment Act are not in the interest of the profession.”
The last few months have seen several other initiatives by the IMA on this front such as STOP NMC Sathyagraha, two National Protest Days against violence on doctors, “NO to NEXT” strike in medical colleges, and the National Black Day against West Bengal Clinical Establishments Act.
Padma Shri Dr. Marthanda Pillai, former National President, IMA and former President of IMA Kerala in his statement said that it is imperative for both doctors and patients to understand that their relationship is a sacred one and that the dignity of the profession needs to be upheld. It won’t be wrong to say that justice has been denied to doctors even within the framework of the constitution of India. This movement should not be misconstrued as a strike or an agitation of any kind. Its sole aim is to serve as a wake-up call to the government and take urgent action.”
Addressing the huge gathering of medical professionals, Dr. R.V. Asokan, Chairman, Action Committee IMA and Chairman Hospital Board of India added, “This protest is an indication that medical professionals will no longer take any form of injustice. People are indulging in violence against doctors, which is further being condoned by governments and other institutions.”
“Prescription rights of doctors are being trampled upon which can have disastrous consequences for patients. There is absolutely no end to the injustice being heaped upon the medical fraternity and this noble profession. This movement should be enough to urge the government to take urgent action failing which the agitation is only bound to increase,” he added.