NEET-PG counselling: Doctors demand action within 24 hours, warn complete shutdown of healthcare services – ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: Amidst the rising COVID-cases with 293 deaths reported and 653 Omicron cases detected in the country, Resident doctors in Delhi threatened a complete shutdown of medical services after alleged police crackdown during their peaceful agitation on Monday. The doctors group protesting over the delay in NEET-PG counseling in Delhi alleged that the police brutally thrashed doctors protesting peacefully, including manhandling of female doctors at the protest site.

More than 2,500 resident doctors were reportedly detained as they were marching towards Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s home to raise their demands and were taken to the Sarojini Nagar police station.

NEET-PG exam was postponed to September from May amidst the rising COVID cases during the second wave. The results for the exam were declared on November 1 but the counseling has not begun yet amidst a pending case in apex court, which was demanded to be fast-tracked by the protestors.

The Supreme Court is yet to give a decision on cases related to 10 percent reservation in medical seats for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). This has put the counseling and admission process to the PG-medical seats on hold, now delayed by over six months.

Speaking to ETHealthworld on the brutal crackdown on peaceful protests by doctors, Dr Jaswant, General Secretary, Resident Doctors Association said, “The action is delayed on the part of the government. Since the pandemic is coming, we’re going to face trouble with the lack of workforce. So, the doctors protested but were manhandled by the police, they even manhandled female doctors. They were sitting peacefully, there was no violence but they were detained by the police. This is unbearable to the medical fraternity.”

Elucidating on the demands raised by doctors, Dr Jaswant said, “We just want three things; first is release doctors who have been detained, second is a written apology from the home ministry and police and third is informing doctors about the development in the NEET PG counseling case and speed the process of counseling. If the government can issue an apology through media, or documents, it would be great. The government could’ve avoided this. If they don’t listen, we can escalate it further. We will sit and decide what to do next.”

Highlighting that the shortage of doctors will be fuelled by delay, Dr Amir Maroof Khan, MD said, “42000+ medical resident doctors who were to join around May 2021 have not joined yet. It’s December end; Omicron COVID is surging and this shortage of doctors needs to be fixed.”

Associations and healthcare institutions from all over India have come forward to extend support to the protestors and have announced complete withdrawal of healthcare services until the demands raised by doctors are met. Residents of GMC Amritsar have announced that they will be withdrawing from emergency and COVID services in view of police brutality against protesting doctors in Delhi. AIIMS Doctors association has extended their support too, calling for demands to be met to prevent shutdown of services on Wednesday.

Medical associations from across India have called it a “black day” for the medical fraternity and have asked for prompt response in the next 24 hours to prevent further action that can lead to complete shut down of healthcare services .





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