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Resident docs call for strike over delay in NEET-PG counselling 2021

The counselling was to be held in the last week of October but the government has put the process on hold
Representational image.
Representational image.

Basant Kumar Mohanty   |   New Delhi   |   Published 27.11.21, 12:18 AM

Resident doctors will boycott OPD (outpatient department) services from Saturday in hospitals across the country to protest the delay in counselling for admission to master’s courses, an association at a Delhi hospital and an umbrella outfit have said.

The resident doctors’ association of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences and Dr RML Hospital in New Delhi and the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) have written to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya urging the government to expedite the legal process in the Supreme Court for which the counselling for postgraduate and undergraduate medical courses are on hold. The court is looking into a matter related to quotas and has made certain queries to the Centre.


In identical letters, the RML Hospital association and the FORDA have warned of an escalation in protests if the matter is not addressed.

Resident doctors, many of whom are studying MD and MS courses and want fresh batches to come in through counselling so that the pressure on them eases, handle much of the workload at the OPDs.

The association at RML Hospital and the FORDA claim to have the support of other outfits of resident doctors across the country.

The associations said resident doctors constituted the backbone of the healthcare system.

“They have been waiting patiently till date for some positive outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings in matter of already delayed NEET PG 2021 counselling. However, there is no respite to their physical and mental distress, with the next court hearing scheduled on 6th January, 2022,” said the RML Hospital association letter to the health minister, signed by its president Dr Atul Krishna Tripathi.

The counselling was to be held in the last week of October but the government has put the process on hold till the time clarity emerges in the court case.

“To mark our protest against these repeated delay and postponement in counselling, resident doctors are going on protest from Saturday. This is a pan-India protest. We are in touch with resident doctors’ associations of all hospitals. All will join this protest,” Tripathi said.

“We will continue our other duties, including ward duties,” he added.

The letters said: “Following discussions with representatives of multiple Resident Doctors Associations across the nation, we have decided to withdraw from our Out Patient Department services, Saturday, 27th November, 2021, onwards.”

The letters added: “We hereby urge the Union government and the Supreme Court of India to take note of the grievance of resident doctors and take necessary measures for expediting the NEET PG 2021 counselling as well as the admission process and to fast track the court proceedings on an urgent basis.

“In case there is no positive response from either side, we will be forced to escalate our protest. The onus of any such unfortunate situation affecting the healthcare services will be on the concerned authorities.”

The results of the postgraduate NEET were announced a month ago. Counselling for the undergraduate NEET, whose results were declared two weeks ago, is also on hold.

The Supreme Court is hearing a case related to the introduction of the 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and the 27 per cent reservation for other backward classes (OBC) within the all-India pool medical seats in state medical colleges from this year.

The court has directed the government to file an affidavit explaining why the same income criteria of Rs 8 lakh per annum has been used to determine EWS quota eligibility and also identify the creamy layer among OBCs for exclusion from the 27 per cent OBC quota.

The central government told the court on Thursday that it would revisit the criteria over the next four weeks. The court will hear the case again on January 6.

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