IMA dares Union Health Minister

Doctors’ reluctance led to India lagging behind millennium goals

IMA dares Union Health Minister!

New Delhi, June 25: Indian Medical Association (IMA), the apex trade union of allopath, has said to Union Health Minister point blank that his goal of augmenting the female ratio at least by 8 will not be reached unless he hands it over to IMA.

The body almost held a threat if this plain talking is seen in the context of the concessions that IMA is demanding for doctors in terms of easing draconian laws that, they say, impede them in their duty. Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda got the taste of IMA ‘medicine’ in yesterday’s (June 24) meeting of Central supervisory board under PC and PNDT Act, 1994. While chairing the meeting, Mr. Nadda mooted the idea of setting the goal of enhancing female ratio at least by 8.

Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, IMA Secretary General, shared this communication between him and Mr. Nadda in a press conference just after the meeting. Dr. Aggarwal made it plain to Mr. Nadda that no national health goal would succeed unless the government leverages IMA to the full. From what he spoke in the meeting, it can well be inferred that India lagged behind meeting millennium health goals mandated by UNO because of doctors’ reluctance.

IMA’s relation with Union Health Ministry till not long ago was one of bitterness. Former Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during UPA rule made no bones saying that all the government’s health goals failed only because of hurdles put in the way by IMA.

To a question by Meditoall editor Dhananjay Kumar, Dr. Aggarwal replied that the relation between central government and IMA has improved substantially over the last 6 months. The incumbent Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda is amenable to suggestions of IMA. Many ministerial and secretary level meetings have taken place between government and the doctors’ body unlike the previous regime. During 8 months of Ghulam Nabi Azad’s stint, it was a state of complete incommunicado between health ministry and IMA.

Dr. Aggarwal said even the double target of enhancing female ratio by 15 is achievable if Union health ministry makes it the goal of IMA. He said IMA is going to set this goal unilaterally on upcoming July1 i.e.  Doctors’ Day. But IMA will also underline the hapless situation in which doctors of the country are working and would demand ease of environment for them.

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