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IMA seeks withdrawal of 5% GST on healthcare sector

Indian Medical Association (IMA) national president and member of National Medical Commission, Sahajanand Prasad Singh urged the Union government to withdraw 5% GST on the hospital room services since it would ultimately put additional burden on the patients across India.

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu over telephone from New Delhi, he said that GST would be a big burden on the hospitals as they had already been facing many financial problems with steep hike in maintenance cost due to upward revision of hospital overall rents, electricity charges, salaries of doctors and staff.

IMA, which was established in the Year on December 28, 1928 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), is the premier body for doctors. It has four lakh members across India. The association plays a key role in bringing the issues of medical fraternity to the notice of the government. IMA is strongly opposing 5% GST on hospital room rents, exceeding ₹5000 per day per bed without giving Input Tax Credit (ITC).

Dr SNP Singh said that a high level delegation of IMA would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya very soon to seek GST exemption and other issues of health care sector.

“Health care industry is in a deep financial crisis with the unprecedented maintenance cost. In this background, the government’s support is needed for the industry. We are hopeful that the government would respond positively over the issue of GST exemption,” he added.

He said that over 10 lakh doctors across India were worried with the proposal of Mixopathy for which the Central Council of Indian Medicine had issued a Gazette notification recently. “The government’s permission to Ayurvedic doctors to perform 58 Allopathy surgeries will lead to many health complications for patients. The line of clinical management of medical and surgical procedures are completely different although pre-clinical subjects are the same for Ayurveda and Allopathy,” Dr Singh said.

Dr Singh expressed concern over the violence against the doctors and attacks on hospitals. He said that the doctors’ services should not be kept under the purview of Consumer Protection Act (CPA) since medical negligence can be confirmed by the experts of the doctors. “IMA national executive body will discuss all issues in its conference to be held on December 26, 27 and 28 in Allahabad. We will invite Ministers too to the meeting to enable them to know the grievances of the health care sector. We hope that the issues will be resolved with the constant persuasion with the policy makers,” he added. The Hindu

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