Doctors hold ‘pakoda protest’ against NMC decision of bridge course

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Ahmedabad: A group of doctors from across the state on March 18 held ‘pakoda protest’ at Ahmedabad district collectorate near Subhash bridge in the city against provision in the draft National Medical Commission(NMC) Bill of a bridge course for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) doctors to enable them practice allopathy.
The group of around 250 doctors and medical students from allopathy branch fried pakodas symbolically and displayed placards displaying a message, “pakode ki kamayi aap rakho, hame 2 crore rozgaar do” (you keep earnings from Pakoda selling, give us 2 crore employment). Another message reads, ask an auto-rickshaw driver to appear in bridge course so that he can fly an aircraft.
Dr Sunil Shah, convener of the protest, said that NMC had introduced the provision in the bill of allowing the homeopath and Ayurvedic doctors to practice allopathy at a time when the MBBS doctors are compelled to give the exit test after five years of the course to start their practice.
“If they can come up with a magical machine called bridge course then they should give that machine to us, we will manufacture crores of the doctors from the crores of unemployed youths along with the BHMS and BAMS doctors of the country,” said Shah.
Shah stressed that doctors of other branches like Ayurveda and Homeopathy may give allopathic medicines to the patients which can only lead to a state where in the patients’ body will develop resistance and that particular medicine will not be helpful.
When asked about on why they preferred pakoda protest, Shah said, “It was a unique way to get our protest registered when the controversy over pakoda selling employment is raking up. However, this way of protest reduced our numbers as earlier around 1000 doctors assured their presence for the protest but it has been reduced to 250 after the announcement of pakoda protest because they want to avoid any adverse action from the state”

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