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Doctor refused to attend patients during strike, Minister orders inquiry

The Kerala health minister has ordered an inquiry against a doctor at the General Hospital here who reportedly refused to attend to patients to join the Tuesday’s nationwide strike against the proposed National Medical Commission Bill.

“It is a doctor’s responsibility to ensure treatment to ailing people. It is unfortunate that a doctor was forced to join the strike by denying care to the patients. Such acts are blatant violations of medical ethical norms,” minister K K Shylaja said.

State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) acting chairman P Mohandas has instructed R L Saritha, director, health services, to submit a report on the incident in a month’s time.

An explanation was also sought from the Director General of Police.

“It is illegal and violation of human rights to strike work by risking the lives and health of patients. If any patient suffers on account of such actions, it amounts to a criminal offense,” the SHRC said.

Tuesday’s nationwide protest was called by the Indian Medical Association against a new bill (National Medical Commission (NMC)) seeking to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), besides allowing practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homeopathy and Ayurveda to practice allopathy after completing a bridge course.

Most of the doctors stayed off duty Tuesday and more than 3,000 doctors from 14 districts staged a dharna in front of the Governor’s house.



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