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IMA-UP health manifesto: Exempt smaller hospitals from CEA, withdraw GST

Days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Indian Medical Association, Uttar Pradesh (IMA-UP) has prepared a “Health manifesto” to raise a raft of issues concerning doctors, and healthcare institutions, to share with various political candidates.

Ghaziabad is set to go to polls on April 26 during phase-2 of the seven-phase general elections.

On Monday, the IMA officials held a press briefing at IMA Bhawan in Raj Nagar and put forward their charter of demands through this manifesto.

“The set of demands have been long pending. We have prepared this before the upcoming elections and will now handover our set of demands in the form of memorandum to different contesting candidates across the country,” said Dr VB Jindal, state secretary, IMA (UP).

The IMA wants enactment of a strong Central Act against violence on doctors and hospitals besides declaring hospitals and healthcare institutions as safe zones, said officials.

“Exempt small and medium hospitals up to 50 beds from The Clinical (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010,” says the charter of demands, adding that renewal of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) registration should be after five years only, instead of one year.

It also states that the existing laws for protection at hospitals have not brought solace to the doctors against violence.

The IMA has also pointed out that taxing the patient bed under Goods and Services Tax (GST) is nothing but “exploitation of the misery of the patient”.

“This misery tax should be withdrawn forthwith… GST on associations is an assault on free speech and assembly. Reduce the high GST tax burden on healthcare products and insurance. Withdraw GST on membership and services of associations. There is no criminal intent in any treatment procedure. Criminal prosecution of doctors is self-defeating. So, exempt the medical profession from criminal prosecution,” it says.

The charter of demands states that the onus of protection of girl child in womb lies with the governments.

“The harassment meted out in the name of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act should stop. Further, there should be an increase in the number of medical officers across the country and it should commensurate with population. The MBBS graduates should be employed in sub-centres and wellness centres. Discontinue the practice of adhoc and contract hiring of doctors in National Health Missions and central ministries,” it adds.

According to IMA officials, they have 800 members across Ghaziabad while there are 24,000 members in Uttar Pradesh and about 400,000 across the country.

“The political candidates are busy campaigning for the upcoming elections. But we urge them to take up our charter of demands and make efforts to get these sorted out,” Dr Jindal added. Hindustan Times

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