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India

Health Minister Mandaviya Urges Protesting Doctors To Call Off Strike

FORDA will meet Union Minister Mandaviya today at Nirman Bhavan in Delhi over their demand to expedite NEET-PG counselling. The association demanded an apology for alleged police brutality during the protest march that took place yesterday.

Doctors shout slogans as they stage a protest over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling, at the Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. (PTI)

New Delhi: Thousands of resident doctors from medical college-associated hospitals have withdrawn from all services and have taken to streets demanding the counselling of NEET-PG to be conducted at the earliest. The Representatives of Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), that has been spearheading the protest for the last several days, met Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday.

“I held a meeting with all resident doctors. We’re not able to do the counselling because the matter is sub-judice before Supreme Court. The hearing will take place on Jan 6. I hope that NEET PG counselling will start soon,” said Mandaviya.

FORDA members met Union Minister Mandaviya at Nirman Bhavan in Delhi over their demand to expedite NEET-PG counselling. The association demanded an apology for alleged police brutality during the protest march that took place yesterday.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting to listen to the doctors’ demands and start NEET-PG counselling. In the letter to PM, Kejriwal wrote, “Amid rising concerns of the Omicron variant, the doctors of the central government hospitals are protesting on roads. It is very disheartening to see that they were being mistreated by the police while protesting.”

Kejriwal stressed that due to the protest, there is a lack of doctors in the hospitals. As the cases are rising, they should be in hospitals not on the streets. “The delay in the counselling is affecting the future of the students. Many doctors lost their lives on the line of duty and it’s our duty to listen to their demands,” he said.

Outpatient department treatment (OPD) services at Safdarjung Hospital, Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Lady Hardinge Hospital in the national capital resumed with senior doctors and consultants attending to the patients.

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Earlier, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) resident doctors had warned that if their demand was not met, they would go on strike tomorrow as well.

The OPD services were closed in all major government hospitals in the national capital. Meanwhile, people are facing difficulties as the resident doctors are on strike.

Resident doctors of government-run hospitals, who have been protesting against delay in PG NEET counselling, were brutally thrashed, dragged, and detained” by the Delhi Police on Monday. At least 12 protestors were detained by the police and released later.

On December 24, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the NEET-PG counselling crisis and augment manpower to face a possible third wave of COVID-19 infections.

The NEET PG exam was scheduled to be held in January 2021 but postponed in view of the first and second wave of COVID-19 and held on September 12, 2021, said the letter.

However, due to the legal impediments of the Supreme Court now the Counselling is withheld resulting in a shortage of 45000 doctors on the frontline, added the letter.

(With inputs from ANI)

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