Why over 10,000 resident doctors across the country have decided to go on strike from today

Resident doctors across India chose to forego their service on Saturday and opted to go on strike. The doctors have decided to withdraw fro...

Resident doctors across India chose to forego their service on Saturday and opted to go on strike.

The doctors have decided to withdraw from outpatient department services (OPD) starting today, 27 November.

The strike comes after the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) on Thursday night gave a call asking all resident doctors to withdraw from OPDs.

What’s going on?

Over 10,000 resident doctors, under FORDA, have decided to strike starting today. The strike is currently limited to OPD, but the duration is yet to be decided.

Resident doctors protest outside Delhi's Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. News18

Visuals from different hospitals — from Delhi to Punjab to Uttar Pradesh — all showed resident doctors standing outside their institutes with placards reading 'we want justice' and 'we are residents not slaves'.

Scenes outside the Government Medical College in Amritsar. News18

Resident doctors at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital also took part in the strike.

Why the strike?

Doctors are protesting against the delay in NEET PG counselling and admissions.

For the unversed, NEET PG is a postgraduate exam in which existing doctors take part to pursue postgraduate level education. Resident doctors who appear for the exams are awaiting the counselling through which admissions are granted.

The delay in NEET PG counselling, which was scheduled to begin on 25 October, is owing to a Supreme Court's order. On Thursday, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that the counselling for the NEET PG medical courses would be postponed by four weeks as it was reconsidering Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria for determining the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category for reservations in admissions.

The FORDA expressed its displeasure at the development.

In a statement, it said, "The already over-burdened and exhausted Resident Doctors of the nation fighting at the frontline since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been waiting patiently till date for some positive outcome of Supreme Court proceedings in the matter of already delayed NEET-PG 2021 counselling. However, there seems to be no respite to their physical and mental distress, with the next court hearing scheduled on 6th January 2022."

The doctors said that that this delay is impacting medical students as well as resident doctors and patients and is also impacting the morale and performance of residents.

Dr Manish, President of Federation of Resident Doctors Association, was quoted as saying, "New doctors, who were supposed to join in May are unable to join till date. A hearing date in January was given in December. We still do not know how many years would it take for new doctors to join us. The burden on resident doctors is increasing as existing doctors are working 80 hours a week and new doctors are not able to join in."

An India Today report said that the medical body had urged the Centre and the Supreme Court to take note of their grievances and to take necessary measures for expediting the NEET-PG 2021 Counselling as well as the admission process.

With inputs from agencies

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