New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking clarification over his alleged statement that top pharmaceutical companies bribed doctors with women.

“IMA takes strong exception to the statement if it has been really made by the Prime Minister. IMA seeks clarification from the office of the Prime Minister if such a meeting ever happened and if so the statement is authentic. IMA has noted that the PMO has not denied the report,” the IMA said in an official statement issued on Tuesday.

“IMA demands to know if the Government had details of the companies involved in supplying women to doctors why it chose to invite them for a meeting in PMO rather than initiate criminal proceedings,” it said. The apex medical body asserted that it is imperative on PMO now to release the names of doctors convicted or otherwise as well. The State Medical Councils should initiate appropriate action if the doctors have been convicted on moral turpitude, it said.

IMA, however, said it is skeptical about the government being able to prove these allegations. “If the surmise of the Prime Minister is based on unverified information it is only appropriate that he apologizes to the doctors of the country,” the statement said.

IMA alleged that the purpose seems to divert the attention from unresolved issues regarding the Health of the people and the Medical Education of the country. “Ayushman Bharat the flagship of the current Government is a non starter and operates more in Government Hospitals where treatment is already free. 15% of the money paid to hospitals including the Government hospitals is siphoned off by insurance companies. The allotment for Health by the Government has hovered around 1% to 1.3% of GDP for the past few years,” IMA alleged in the official statement.

The medical body quipped that there is no new investment either in infrastructure or in Human Resources and violence on Doctors and Hospitals has increased. “The Government is unable to provide security and legislate the promised central law. Even ambulances are not safe. IMA has reasons to believe that such crude tactics is to divert the attention of the people from the real issues in Health sector,” the IMA said in the official statement.

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