IMA team meets Guv over state Clinical Establishment Act

Seeks meeting with Mamata
Report by: 
18 Mar 2017

A five-member IMA national delegation today met West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, apprising him of their concerns over the new West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Act, 2017.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) doctors also sought a meeting with chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the law which came into force on Thursday. "The Governor's office is trying to facilitate a meeting with the health ministry and chief minister's office and if we don't get the time today, we will try to get an official appointment next week," IMA national president K K Aggarwal told the media here. The national delegation was accompanied by the members of Bengal IMA chapter.

The delegation apprised the Governor of the provisions of the Act which they said are "not doctor-friendly".
"We have apprised him (Governor) of the provisions of the Act which are not doctor friendly. On principle, he has said he will send our recommendations to the Mamata Banerjee government for consideration for amendment to the law," Aggarwal said, adding the organisation is not against regulations.

"The Medical Association is not against regulations and accountability, but the manner it has been put into the Law is contradictory to the Central Establishment Act. The IMA wants a single-window accountability, a single-window regulation and that's not there in this Act," IMA president KK Aggarwal told news agency PTI. "There is no provision in the Law for making medicine cheaper, no mandate for cheaper investigation, nor for taking action against fraudulent complaints or a quack," he said.

"As per the Law, even for a clerical error a doctor can be put behind the bars... And for every complaint made against him, a doctor has to get an advance bail... Why is this difference between doctors in private and government facilities," Aggarwal said. "The matter is that the Clinical Establishment Act of West Bengal contradicts some of the IMA's stands. We want the Mamata Banerjee government to consider some amendments," the cardiologist said. Earlier, Aggarwal along with IMA Secretary General Dr R N Tandon and others met West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi and submitted their objections. The IMA president said the governor's office was trying to facilitate their meeting with the state health ministry and the Chief Minister's Office.

Aggarwal said they had apprised the governor of some provisions which were neither community-friendly nor doctor- friendly. The governor said that he would send our recommendations to the Mamata Banerjee government for consideration of amendments to the Law. He said that the IMA was already a part of a five-member ministerial committee in the central government. "There we are coming out with an alternative Clinical Establishment Act, compensation for negligence, violence against doctors. These are totally different from it," he said.