Indian Doctors Resume Protests as Government Fails to Fast-Track Medical Exam Counselling – Video

© 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, 17.12.2021
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Doctors in India have been protesting against the delay in National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Postgraduate) (NEET-PG) counselling. On 9 December, the doctors’ association suspended the rallies for a week following the Health Ministry's assurance that court proceedings will be expedited and the counselling process will be fast-tracked.
Amid the surge in cases of Omicron variant in India, doctors resumed their protest against the delay in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Postgraduate) (NEET-PG) counselling on Friday.
The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) has announced that the doctors will withdraw from all the routine and emergency services in government and civic hospitals across the nation.
In the capital city of Delhi, doctors from Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital joined the nationwide strike.
FORDA President Dr. Manish told Sputnik: “Our demand from the government is to expedite the NEET-PG counselling. The resident doctors across the nation are overburdened and exhausted. They have been protesting since 27 November, 2021 against the multiple delays and postponement of counselling which has led to non-admission of fresh batch of resident doctors for the current academic year.”
The 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.
In a letter to the federal health minister dated 15 December, FORDA said: “Multiple delays and postponement of admissions has resulted in no fresh intake of Post Graduate residents in 2021, despite the country facing one of the worst phases of the pandemic at the same time. Our agitation began with the nationwide withdrawal from outpatient department (OPD) services on 9 December, but with no concrete measures taken by appropriate authorities, we will once again be forced to opt for withdrawal of all services in medical institutes.”
The nationwide strike called by FORDA was suspended for a week on 9 December after the federal health minister assured the doctors that the government will file a plea to expedite the court hearing for the matter to be fast-tracked.
“Last time, we got a positive assurance from the government but nothing concrete has materialised yet. This time, the strike won’t be called off till the matter is actually resolved," Dr. Manish said.
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