NEET PG Counselling Delay: Doctors threaten pan India Strike
New Delhi: Upset, disappointed, and shocked over the continuous delay of NEET PG Counselling, doctors have warned to go on pan India indefinite strike if the matter is not resolved at the earliest.
Doctors under the umbrella of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) and Indian Medical Association Junior Doctors' Network (IMA-JDN) have decided to shut down all elective and Out Patient Department (OPD) services urging the Supreme Court and Union Government to take every possible measure to expedite the counselling process for NEET PG 2021.
The protest activities by the doctors will be continued till a meeting is held by the Union Health Ministry with the major stakeholders and a verbal assurance regarding the NEET PG counselling process is given, FAIMA stated in a press release.
On the other hand, doctors under the umbrella of FORDA have decided to stop OPD services from tomorrow itself. "To mark our protest against these repeated delays & postponements of Counselling, following discussion with multiple Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) Representatives, FORDA calls upon Resident Doctors across the nation to withdraw from Out Patient Department (OPD) services, Saturday, 27th November, 2021 onwards," the association said.
NEET PG Counselling in the 50 percent AIQ seats was set to commence from October 25, 2021. However, as the OBC and EWS reservation policy that was announced by the Central Government was challenged before the Supreme Court, MCC had postponed the counselling process.
Previously, the Central Government had assured the top court that till the matter concerning EWS quota gets resolved, no NEET PG counselling would be held. However, the matter is being postponed continuously and yesterday, during the hearing of the matter, the counselling process got delayed by one month.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the recent postponement on the matter comes in view of the centre's decision to revisit the Rs 8 lakh annual income limit set for determining the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). It will take a fresh decision within 4 weeks.
However, with the matter remaining pending before the top court and the NEET PG counselling getting delayed, the resident doctors across India have become furious and have decided to begin an indefinite strike.
Previously, doctors under the umbrella of FORDA and FAIMA had approached the Chief Justice of India and urged to expedite the hearing of the pending case. FAIMA had also launched a Twitter Storm supporting the cause and demanding expedition on the NEET PG counseling process.
Now, in a recent Press Release, FAIMA has expressed its frustration over the matter and said, "Due to unexpected postponement of NEET PG counseling, the overburdened resident doctors of the country are in a soup and on the verge of breakdown. They have already been burnt out due to lack of manpower for almost a year and this decision right now has come as a huge shock to all of us in the medical fraternity!"
The doctors had held an emergency meeting yesterday and mentioning about the same FAIMA has stated in the Press Release, "As discussed in an emergency meeting with all major RDAs of India today along with FAIMA officer bearers, we have decided that FAIMA Doctors Association and Resident Doctors in Delhi will be conducting a Protest march at Jantar Mantar on Saturday, 27/11/21 at 5 PM."
"We request all the RDA members of Delhi, all NEET PG aspirants and everyone working for this cause to come and show solidarity with the medical fraternity at Jantar Mantar on Saturday," stated FAIMA.
"Our primary demand will be that the Chief Justice of India takes suo-moto cognisance of this matter and allows NEET PG Counselling to proceed immediately. We trust the judiciary to take the correct decision in this matter but we need the judgment to be released immediately or the new policy changes with respect reservation be valid from next academic year only and this year counselling to be continued in the former fashion to prevent unnecessary delay in recruitment of manpower in the healthcare system," demanded FAIMA.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues regarding the matter, Dr. Rohan Krishnan, the President of FAIMA said, "This decision of protest has been taken at the emergency meeting that was held yesterday. Representatives of around 38 medical colleges and RDAs participated in it. All of them were in favour of some swift and immediate action regarding the matter, so that the void which has been there due to non-availability of postgraduate doctors and problems concerning the immense workload which the current residents are facing gets sorted."
"Our primary demand is that the CJI takes suo moto cognisance of this matter as this judgment is going to affect a lot of people. We understand that the legal process has its own course. But on the other hand, importance should be given to our work culture as well. So we want that whatever the judgment may be, it should be implemented from the next academic year. Meanwhile, we will be requesting the Union Health Minister and Prime Minister of India to look in this matter. We feel that the Government should interfere and conduct the counseling for this academic year with the previous year's reservation policy, just the way it had been done in case of NEET SS counseling," he added.
"For now, we have decided to protest regarding the matter at Jantar Mantar on Saturday. All the RDAs in Delhi will be participating in that. However, we have conveyed our message to rest of the RDAs to extend their solidarity from their respective States, where they will be protesting regarding the matter in front of the Governor's house, raising the same demands," further mentioned Dr Rohan.
"If the genuine request of the healthcare workers fall on deaf ears we will have no other option but to shut down elective services all across the country from next week to expedite justice for stakeholders and to protect our young colleagues from immense burnout and stress!" the Press Release further stated.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr. Karan Juneja, Secretary of IMA JDN National Council said, "Will give level best for expediting NEET PG counselling. We are all united."
Raising similar demands, FORDA in a press release mentioned, "We hereby urge upon the Union Government & the Supreme Court of India to take note of the grievance of Resident Doctors & take necessary measures for expediting the NEET-PG 2021 Counselling as well as Admission process & 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 healthcare services will be on the concerned authorities."
While commenting on the matter, Dr. Manish, president of FORDA told Medical Dialogues, "From tomorrow onwards, the resident doctors would not be taking part in the OPD services and the protest would be continued. However, if the authorities still do not pay heed to the situation, we might have to consider suspending elective services as well."
"Emergency services would not be affected due to this," clarified Dr Manish.