The Indian Medical Association has decided to move court, questioning the “validity” of the Clinical Establishments(Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Act, 2017 that has been introduced recently by the West Bengal government.

Also, the IMA will protest “politically” and will observe a “National IMA Black Day” on April 27. This will be to protest the Act in West Bengal and also 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,” said IMA president Dr K K Aggarwal.

Legal cases will be filed either at the Supreme Court or High Courts. Decision regarding this was taken at a Central Working Committee meeting of the IMA.

Condemns judicial powers given to the administration

“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 added.

“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,” said Aggarwal.

The Act isn’t tabled or put in the public domain. Also, it includes the legal provision of imprisonment- these were some of the reasons why the IMA says it’s against the Act. As per Aggarwal, IMA would continue requesting Banerjee for a relook into the Act’s “unconstitutional” points.

“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.

Nearly a month has passed since the IMA wrote to the Chief Minister’s office, seeking an appointment to discuss the new Act. The new Act would bring the private medical facilities in the state under surveillance.

Certain amendments have been demanded on the Act by the IMA for a single-window accountability.

In West Bengal, the Act was passed on March 3. The Act is aimed to ensure transparency in the activities of the private clinical establishments.

Aside from monitoring activities of private hospitals and nursing homes, the Act also includes provision to impose penalty on medical facilities in case of violation.

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