Doctors in India Hold Nationwide Protest Against Delay in Medical Exam Counselling

© REUTERS / ANUSHREE FADNAVISResident doctors of the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital participate in a protest called by the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) over the delay in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET-PG) 2021 counselling, at the hospital in New Delhi, India, December 3, 2021
Resident doctors of the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital participate in a protest called by the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) over the delay in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET-PG) 2021 counselling, at the hospital in New Delhi, India, December 3, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.12.2021
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National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Postgraduate) (NEET-PG) counselling has been delayed due to an ongoing case in the Supreme Court of India challenging reservations for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the All-India Quota scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses.
Health services in India are likely to be affected on Monday as doctors are holding a nationwide protest against the delay in National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Postgraduate) (NEET-PG) counselling.
This is a qualifying and ranking examination in India for students who wish to study various postgraduate Doctor of Medicine, Master of Surgery, and diploma courses, in government or private medical colleges in the country.
The strike has been called by the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA).
In Delhi, doctors from three federal government-run hospitals – Ram Manohar Lohia, Safdarjung, and Lady Hardinge – will boycott all routine and emergency services in support of the protest.
The Junior Doctors' Association of Gauhati Medical College & Hospital also announced on Sunday that junior doctors will withdraw from all routine matters, including OPD services, emergency OT services, and ward services.
In a letter to federal Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, FORDA on Saturday said healthcare institutions across the country are running short of resident doctors, with no admissions in the current academic year yet.
The Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) of Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital said resident doctors across the country have been peacefully protesting for almost a week now in view of the delay in NEET-PG counselling and the admission of first-year junior residents to various hospitals.

RDA told the hospital administration: "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".

Similar letters have also been written by the RDAs of the Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge hospitals.
Meanwhile, Safdarjung Hospital's Director General of Health Services Dr Sunil Kumar on Monday morning interacted with the protesting resident doctors. He appealed to them to call off the strike for three to four hours.
The doctors, however, said that their protest will continue.
He told the doctors on Monday: "Give us today's time. The government is working on this issue. We are approaching the Supreme Court with a plea to allow counselling. I have been told to convey that the concerned minister will try to talk to you".
This is the second nationwide strike by FORDA in two weeks.
Earlier, the association called for a nationwide strike on 27 November after the federal government informed the Supreme Court of India that counselling for the NEET-PG medical courses would be postponed for four weeks.
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