The Indian Medical Association has decided to move court for questioning the "validity" of the Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Act, 2017 introduced by the West Bengal government. The IMA will also protest "politically" and observe "National IMA Black Day" on April 27 next to protest the Act in West Bengal and similar Acts in other states. "We have decided to challenge the unconstitutional points in the Clinical Establishment Act introduced by the West Bengal government. Our protests will be legal and political. We will move court and support local branches seeking legal assistance questioning the validity of the Act," IMA president Dr K K Aggarwal told PTI today. The decision that legal cases will be filed, either at the Supreme Court or High Courts, was taken at the IMA Central Working Committee meeting held in the city today, he said. "IMA condemns the judicial powers given to the administration. It is like bringing back the jury system.
It is like adjudicating legal matters by non-judicial people. We strongly condemn this," Aggarwal said. "Judicial powers have been given to non-doctors who can also decide on sending someone to jail which will be quite risky for the entire nation in the future," he stated. On continuing their protests "politically", the IMA official said, "We will continue seeking time from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also the Health Minister of the state in this matter. We want to sensitise her about our part of the story." Stating that the IMA is against the Act because it was "not tabled", nor "put into public domain" and also because it has the legal provision of imprisonment, Aggarwal said that the body will continue to request Banerjee to have a relook into the "unconstitutional" points of the Act. "The IMA will request the Chief Minister to consider our collective request to look into the Act which has got several unconstitutional points and resolve them," he said. It is almost a month since the IMA had written to the Chief Minister's office seeking appointment for a discussion on the new Act, bringing under surveillance private medical facilities in the state. The IMA had been demanding some amendments to the Act to bring a single-window accountability, a single-window regulation. The Act which was passed in the state Assembly on March 3, aimed at ensuring transparency in the functioning and activities of private clinical establishments. Besides monitoring the activities of private hospitals and nursing homes, the Act also has the provision of imposing penalty on medical facilities in case of violation.
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