06.03.2024 IMA demands Act for docs’ safety, GST relief on medical goods


Gaya: Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for relief to the patients overburdened with heavy goods and services tax (GST), enlisting private hospitals too far the ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme and a strong central Act against violence on doctors and at hospitals.

The IMA manifesto and the charter of demands from the Union govt were discussed with its Bihar chapter office- bearers during a two-day conference (BIMACON- 2024) in Bodh Gaya over the weekend.

They were asked to take up the issues with the Lok Sabha poll candidates of their respective constituencies.

Underlining the charter of demands, IMA national president Dr R V Asokan said they want the govt to declare hospitals and health care institutions as “safe zones” by enacting of a strong central Act against violence on doctors and at the hospitals, and focus on universal health coverage by strengthening the primary care in India.

“Other demands include waiving off and reducing high GST burden on healthcare products and insurance, besides tax waiver on membership and services of the association. Presently, 12% GST is charged on life-saving equipments (ventilators, monitors and anaesthesia machines), 18-28% on repair and maintenance of medical equipments, 18% on health insurance, 12% on drugs, oxygen and disposable medical items and patients’ beds, which is nothing but exploitation of the misery of the patients, ” he said.

“At present more than 66% of the health Budget is being allotted to the govt hospitals through insurance companies for Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries. Private hospitals should also be included for the Ayushman Bharat coverage,” he further said.

The conference concluded with Dr A N Rai of Gaya taking over as the president of IMA Bihar chapter from Syam Narayan Prasad on Sunday.


Source: Times of India

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