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In Bengaluru, around 200 medical students under the Karnataka Medical Students and Youth Doctors Association gathered on Monday to hold a protest.

Opposing the National Medical Commission Bill, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for a 12-hour strike across the country on Tuesday. It also proposes to allow practitioners of alternative medicines like homoeopathy and ayurveda to practise modern medicine after attending a short-term "bridge course". "This bill is anti-poor, anti-people, non-representative, undemocratic and anti-federal in character", newly-appointed IMA national president Dr Ravi Wankhedkar said.

According to the Bill, the commission will have government-nominated chairman and members and board members will be selected by a search committee under the Cabinet Secretary.

The outpatient departments in private hospitals were closed in support of the strike called by the Indian Medical Association.

However, Apollo Hospital and Kalinga Hospital here haven't joined the strike, sources said.

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The bridge course will be decided upon at a meeting between the proposed National Medical Commission, the Central Council of Homoeopathy and the Central Council of Indian Medicine. "If passed, the bill allows for any private medical college to raise its undergraduate and post graduate seats on its own", said Shah.

The draft bill was represented by Union Health Minister JP Nadda in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The bill is also aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education sector which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices.

He said the NMC will "cripple" the functioning of the medical profession by making it completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.

"The bill in the present form is not acceptable". The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill has already been tabled in the Parliament on Friday and it seeks to replace the MCI. He also said the talks with the striking doctors were going on.


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