Resident doctors of 3 Central hospitals boycott routine, emergency services from Monday

Protests against delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling

Resident doctors of 3 Central hospitals boycott routine, emergency services from Monday

Resident doctors of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital raise slogans during a protest in New Delhi. PTI

New Delhi, December 6

Resident doctors of the Centre-run RML, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge hospitals boycotted all routine and emergency services from Monday in support of a nationwide protest called by the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) against the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling.

Amid the protests by the resident doctors, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to stop the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling.

Expressing concern over manpower shortage in the health care scenario especially with the impending third wave, and amid detection of cases of Omicron variant, the body said it is disastrous to note the postponement of NEET PG admission in medical colleges.  

“This will be resulting in a shortage of almost two batches of post graduates, one appearing for the exam and one batch waiting for admission, resulting in nearly one lakh of the young resident doctors not available to tackle the crises. IMA demands the Government of India to proactively involve in this issue of PG admission and ensure it without further delay—the PG admission should be done on a war footing. It will be too late to tackle the Covid crisis if we postpone the PG admission,” the doctors’ body said.

In a letter to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, the FORDA on December 4 had said healthcare institutions across the country are running short of an adequate workforce of resident doctors, with no admission in the current academic year yet.

“With the possibility of future Covid-19 pandemic wave looming large, the situation will be disastrous for the healthcare sector with its bearing on the country’s population,” it said.

“There seems to be no initiative or measure taken yet for expediting the (NEET-PG) counselling. Therefore, following discussions with various RDA representatives of Delhi, we have decided to escalate our agitation further and withdraw all services (routine and emergency) in healthcare institutions from Monday,” the letter read.

As the resident doctors boycotted work, the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) is learnt to have visited the Safdarjung hospital where he appealed to the resident doctors for calling off the protest, but they refused.

In an intimation to the hospital administration, the RDA of the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital on December 4 said resident doctors across the country are on a peaceful protest for almost a week now in view of the delay in the NEET-PG counselling and the admission of first-year junior residents to various hospitals.

The RDA had suspended the OPD services from November 27 and the routine services from December 3.

“However, we are pained to bring to your notice that we have not received any positive response or concrete action from the Union Ministry of Health and the authorities concerned,” it said.

Similar letters have also been written by the RDAs of the Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge (LHMC) hospitals.

In its letter to the medical superintendent, the Safdarjung hospital RDA said it continued a symbolic protest in a silent manner after a meeting with the Union health minister on November 27, “respecting the verbal assurance given by him”.

“However, as per the notification released on November 30, the Ministry of Social Justice has asked for a period of three weeks to submit its report in the Supreme Court, which is not consistent with the verbal assurance given to us regarding expediting this process,” it said.

“Due to non-responsiveness and indifference of the government and the authorities concerned, unfortunately, we are left with no other option than boycotting the emergency services from Monday. The onus of any unfortunate incident arising due to the circumstances affecting the healthcare will be on the authorities concerned,” the RDA said.

“As withdrawal of OPD and all routine services did not bring any concrete response from the authorities as was assured to us, so we the residents of LHMC and associated hospitals shall withdraw all services (Routine as well as emergency) from Monday, 6th December, 2021 onwards in support of nationwide protest called by FORDA, India,” LHMC RDA had said. —PTI

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