The 1200-strong Indian Medical Association (IMA) is drafting a ‘health manifesto’ to be submitted to the local leaders for implementation. The key things that the manifesto will push for are: lodging of FIR be made mandatory when doctors are manhandled and not allowing the ayurvedic doctors to practice allopathy even after a bridge course. The manifesto will also demand for an increase in the health expenditure by at least 2.5 percent of the GDP. The IMA’s manifesto will feature relevant issues that have been raised in the past, but not resolved. This includes the National Medical Bill, which proposes to allow practitioners of alternative medicines to practice modern medicine once they complete a ‘bridge course’.
Also, not many private doctors are in the panel of the universal health coverage, as the rates are too low. “Ayushman Bharat scheme rates must be raised so that private hospitals can opt for it,” said Dr Neeraj Kumar, president of IMA, Chandigarh branch. “There is also a strong need to immediately register FIR against those who beat doctors. Till now promises had been made, but nothing has been done,” said Kumar. On Friday, the IMA Chandigarh, launched a campaign to motivate people to vote during this Lok Sabha elections on May 19. Kumar said, “During elections, the city doctors have decided to take a lead and use their influence and goodwill to urge people to vote.” The IMA will be holding an awareness session for its members and their families to demonstrate the functioning and the proper usage of EVM machines. – TOI