IMA issues charter of demands ahead of 2024 election; calls integrative medicine a threat

Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election the IMA has issued a charter of ten demands seeking that the government do away with any integration of various system of medicines, bring in strong laws to prevent violence against doctors, rationalise Goods and Service Tax (GST) on various medical equipment, and withdraw the proposed National Exit Test for Indian MBBS graduates.

Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election the IMA has issued a charter of ten demands seeking that the government do away with any integration of various system of medicines, bring in strong laws to prevent violence against doctors, rationalise Goods and Service Tax (GST) on various medical equipment, and withdraw the proposed National Exit Test for Indian MBBS graduates.

Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which is the largest association of allopathic doctors in India, has issued a charter of ten demands seeking that the government do away with any integration of various system of medicines, bring in strong laws to prevent violence against doctors, rationalise Goods and Service Tax (GST) on various medical equipment, and withdraw the proposed National Exit Test for Indian MBBS graduates.

The release of these demands comes close on the heels of the release of a ‘health manifesto’ which IMA distributed to over 50 lawmakers across all national parties.

The IMA has maintained that integrative medicine is a threat to patient care and safety. ‘’It is a health catastrophe in waiting. A cafeteria approach with the patients having the right to choose is the only acceptable solution. The IMA demands that the attempts to integrate various systems of medicine be stopped forthwith in the best interests of our people and the systems of medicine,’’ IMA national president R.V. Asokan said, adding that the Association is also seeking reduction of GST on life saving equipment, machines etc.  

Besides these demands doctors are also seeking protection against violence and noted that hospitals and health care institutions be declared as safe zones.

The IMA is also seeking an increase in the number of posts of medical officers across the country stating that it should commensurate with the population and asking the government to employ MBBS graduates in sub centres and wellness centres while discontinuing the practice of ad hoc and contract hiring of doctors in National Health Missions and Central Ministries.

Meanwhile, the health manifesto noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the healthcare system in the country and this also brought to fore the grave paucity of professionalism in health management right from the sub-district office level.

“As such, this mandates towards an acute need for change in the health administration of the country. The IMA has proposed to the Government to revive the Indian Medical Services discontinued in 1948. An all-India cadre of doctors would be more sensitive to the needs of the patients and clinicians,’’ it said. 

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