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NEET PG COUNSELLING: Resident Docs Protest Police Action, Support Pours in from More Hospitals

Federation of All India Medical Association has given a call for complete withdrawal from all healthcare services across the country from 8 a.m on December 29 “in protest against brute force by Delhi Police against doctors.”

Residents Doctors Protest in Delhi

New Delhi: Hundreds of resident doctors from Delhi gathered in front of the New Emergency Block of the Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday, December 28, to protest the police brutality on protesting doctors that took place on Monday. The protest continued despite heavy rains in the area and amid heavy police presence to “maintain law and order”. 

A large number of resident doctors have been protesting in Delhi over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling.

On Monday, the doctors were marching toward Supreme Court when they were stopped by Delhi Police near ITO in the afternoon. A large number of protesters were detained by the police and released later. The protesters have alleged that they were attacked by the police and thrown into buses. The women protesters were allegedly manhandled by male police personnel.

The protest, led by the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA), has been going on for the past 11 days  with resident doctors from Centre-run hospitals, such as  Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia and Lady Hardinge participating in it.

Speaking with NewsClick on Tuesday, Dr Kajal, a resident doctor from Safdarjung Hospital, said: “All we have been demanding is that the government fast track the counselling for NEET-PG 2021. All hospitals are understaffed, we are all overworked. The results for the NEET-PG exams were supposed to be declared in January 2021, but they were finally declared in November. The counselling has not started yet, so 45,000 doctors are sitting at home, while we are carrying the burden.”


She added, “We have written to the government again and again, to no avail. Yesterday, we were marching peacefully. We had not blocked any roads. The police blocked the roads, they attacked us. When we refused to withdraw our protest, they attacked us. The male policemen attacked us, they pulled us by our hair, grabbed our collars, and manhandled the women protesters.”

Dr Rajan, another resident doctor from Safdarjung Hospital, told NewsClick: “We are protesting because the government has not left us with any other option. We have been forced to protest, to go on strike, because the government has not listened to our demands.”

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya urged the resident doctors to call off their strike in the larger interest of the public. Following a detailed meeting with the delegation of FORDA, he said all requisite steps are being taken by the government and a suitable reply with respect to the EWS (economically weaker section) report will be submitted to the Supreme Court before the scheduled date of hearing on January 6.

The apex court has questioned the Centre’ criterion of limiting EWS  category’s income to Rs 8 lakh per annum.

NEET PG Counselling has been caught in a legal tussle after a bunch of petitions were filed in the top court challenging the criterion for providing 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes and 10% EWS in the NEET-PG (All India Quota). On the November 25, the Centre assured the court that it would revisit the issue and sought four weeks’ time.

Meanwhile, FORDA claimed in a statement that the protesting resident doctors had to face “police brutality”, and called it a “black day in the history of the medical fraternity”. It also said that resident doctors were protesting “peacefully” and alleged that they were “brutally thrashed, dragged and detained by the cops.”

Following the incident on Monday, Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) gave a call for complete withdrawal from all healthcare services across the country from 8 a.m on December 29 “in protest against brute force by Delhi Police against doctors.”

doctors protest

FAIMA said in a statement, “This is to inform that the medical fraternity stands absolutely shocked at the sheer display of unprovoked brute force by Delhi police on our colleague who have been peacefully protesting in Delhi and many other states since the last month, with their genuine demand for the immediate declaration of NEET PG 2021 counselling schedule. However the lathicharge on our resident doctors and manhandling of many female residents by the male police personnel during their peaceful demonstration is a pathetic display of the shameless attitude of the authorities, who we could believe would stoop so low.”

On Monday, the Faculty Association of Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC) and Safdarjung Hospital had written to the Delhi police commissioner “strongly” condemning “the cruel and inhuman manner, in which the protest of the resident doctors was mishandled by the Delhi Police”.

They said it was a “matter of shame” that junior doctors who have been tirelessly working as the frontline Covid warriors for the last two years had been "treated so harshly".

"With the third wave of Covid almost knocking at our doors, everybody will again be begging the doctors to go beyond their call of duty so that lives can be saved. It is the duty of the administration which includes the police to look after the physical well-being of doctors.

The AIIMS RDA also wrote to the Union Health Minister condemning the alleged "atrocities of police" against the doctors who it said were protesting peacefully for expediting NEET PG counselling for admission of more than 42,000 doctors.


(With inputs from PTI)

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