Gujarat doctors end strike after Health Minister allows ad-hoc appointment at civil hospitals

Published On 2021-12-10 04:15 GMT   |   Update On 2021-12-10 04:15 GMT

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government has decided to recruit 543 doctors on an ad-hoc basis on a monthly salary of Rs 63,000 to ease the burden on Post Graduate/ PG medical students who are serving as resident doctors in civil hospitals.Confirming the same, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel announced on Thursday that the deans of six government medical colleges in the state have been...

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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government has decided to recruit 543 doctors on an ad-hoc basis on a monthly salary of Rs 63,000 to ease the burden on Post Graduate/ PG medical students who are serving as resident doctors in civil hospitals.

Confirming the same, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel announced on Thursday that the deans of six government medical colleges in the state have been directed to recruit doctors until proper PG admissions takes place.

With this, the resident doctors in Gujarat who have been protesting against the delay in NEET-PG admissions have decided to call off their protest and resume their duties.

The recruitments would fill up 50 percent of the vacancy. The resident doctors who were protesting including those at the BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad, from where the protest began, welcomed the move, with the junior doctors of the college resuming their duties.

Also Read: NEET PG Counselling Delay: Health Ministry Urges SC for Speedy Hearing, Doctors warn of protest escalation

Resident doctors in the state had been boycotting the emergency services and Covid-19 duties to protest against the delay in NEET-PG admissions, stating that the absence of post graduate doctors increases their load. The members of the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) said that due to the absence of 35% residents, the entire patient load fell on the second and third year residents.

The protesters have been demanding the state to appoint medical officers to help the resident doctors in their duties until the new batch joins so that their workload could be decreased. Eventually, the health minister mentioned that regular recruitments by the state are ongoing.

As per a media report in the Ahmedabad Mirror, the protesters have been demanding NEET PG 2021 counselling, the counting of Senior Residency as bonded period for rural service, concurrent bond period for UG, PG and super-specialty students and posting of doctors in their specialities during the bond period.

The state government-run hospitals in cities like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Bhavnagar have been directed to recruit 543 doctors on a monthly stipend of Rs 63,000 under a temporary arrangement until proper NEET-PG admissions takes place.

The Indian Express reports that the first year postgraduate positions are lying vacant in medical colleges due to the delay in counseling. Because of that, the deans would be making ad-hoc appointments and eligible candidates who have finished their MBBS, who have appeared for their NEET-PG examination and who have received their results would be appointed as junior doctors.

A dean of a government college explained, "With no first year admissions, one-third of the postgraduate student strength is missing. There are students who are sitting at home after completing NEET-PG exams, waiting for the counselling. So this will be a win-win situation, where our burden reduces and those sitting at home also get to gather experience."

In a recent press briefing, the health minister said that the state has appointed 260 MBBS doctors through GPSC and around 100 experts at PHC, CHC and district-level hospitals. Further, government stated that 165 MBBS doctors will be deputed at six state government-run hospitals.

Talking about a case associated with the NEET-PG counseling being pending in the supreme court owing to a government notification pertaining to reservation for OBC, and EWS in all-India seats, the minister added, "If a decision (from the Supreme Court) comes, well and good, but if not, Gujarat government is making sufficient arrangements to take off the burden (from resident doctors)."

The minister was quoted saying by PTI, "I am glad that resident doctors have decided to call off their strike. Once the admission process for NEET-PG gets completed, we will also recruit resident doctors on a regular basis. The government has also recruited 3,000 staff nurses recently."

The decision of the state government was welcomed by the protesting doctors. Dr Oman Prajapati, vice-president of the Junior Doctors' Association of Ahmedabad's BJ Medical College said, "We will be joining our duties from tomorrow."

The JDA BJMC said that they welcomed the state government's decision to accept their key demand to appoint non-academic junior residents.

Meanwhile the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA), an all-India association who had been protesting against the continuous delay in NEET-PG counseling process by boycotting the OPD services gave a press release, deciding to hold off their protests for the time being and resume the OPD and emergency services in the state.

The Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported about the decision of the FORDA after they received strong assurances from the Union Health Ministry and the Central Government that the issue regarding the pending NEET-PG Counselling would be resolved soon.

The state health minister Patel, during his press briefing also mentioned about the FORDA's decision to hold off the strike. However, the JDA BJMC gave a statement, clarifying that it is "not associated with FORDA or any such associations", reports The Indian Express.

Also Read: Centre assures action on NEET PG Counselling delay: Doctors Suspend strike for 1 week

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