The Centre on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha it will send the National Medical Commission Bill, which has led to protests by the medical fraternity, to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, The Hindu reported.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar also requested Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to ask the committee to submit its recommendations before the Budget Session begins.

Even as Outpatient Department, or OPD, services were affected at hospitals across India, Health Minister JP Nadda said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the bill would benefit medical practitioners. He said he had spoken to representatives of the Indian Medical Association on Monday after it called for a 12-hour strike against the bill.

The IMA dubbed the legislation anti-people and anti-poor and warned that the bill in its current form will make way for more corruption in the medical field. To register its protest, the association urged its 2.9 lakh members to participate in the strike from 6 am to 6 pm on Tuesday.

In Kerala, doctors protested outside Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram even as patients waited outside a general hospital. OPD services in Karnataka’s Hubli and other cities in the states were also affected. Doctors protested in parts of Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, as well.

Doctors are vehemently against a provision of bridge courses proposed in the National Medical Commission Bill. The legislation, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India, also proposes allowing practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, practise modern medicine after attending a short-term course.