During the nationwide lockdown last year, doctors and health workers were showered with flowers; PM Narendra Modi also said a lot about doctors handling the COVID-19 pandemic. These doctors, who received praise during COVID, are worried about their future. They are on the road with their demands, are spending the winter nights of December under the open sky, but now their voice is not reaching the ears of power.
On Monday, 27 December, when these resident doctors took out a protest march at Delhi’s ITO, many were taken into custody. However, they were released after some time due to strong protests. According to a report by NDTV, the policemen were accused of assaulting doctors and misbehaving with women doctors during this time.
Delhi Resident Doctors Strike
Angered by this, about four thousand doctors sat on a dharna outside Sarojini Nagar police station and raised slogans fiercely. After this incident, the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) has said that all health institutions will be closed entirely from Tuesday, 28 December. Not only this but it has also been noted from FORDA that the country’s medical fraternity should condemn it and come forward in its support.
Thousands of doctors being detained at Sarojini Nagar Police Station!@rashtrapatibhvn @VPSecretariat @FordaIndia @IMAIndiaOrg @delhimediasso @ArvindKejriwal @SatyendarJain @INCIndia @AshishOnGround @AshishOnGround @IndiaToday @TheQuint @thewire_in @ndtv @ndtvindia @abplivenews pic.twitter.com/wPM4NDfbkX
— RDA_UCMS & GTBH (@RdaUcms) December 27, 2021
Congress came in support of doctors.
The Congress party has also come out in the open to support doctors and speaks sharply on the Modi government. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi has raised questions about the government’s attitude. Priyanka tweeted saying,
“In the time of Corona, these young doctors supported the citizens of the whole country by staying away from their loved ones. Now is the time for the whole country to stand with the doctors and wake up Narendra Modi Ji, who uses the police force and ignores their demands. Doctors need respect and entitlement, not false PR.”
कोरोना के समय में इन युवा डॉक्टरों ने अपनों से दूर रहकर पूरे देश के नागरिकों का साथ दिया।
अब समय है पूरा देश डॉक्टरों के साथ खड़े होकर इन पर पुलिस बल प्रयोग करने वाले व इनकी मांगों को अनसुना करने वाले @narendramodi जी को नींद से जगाए
डॉक्टरों को झूठा PR नहीं, सम्मान व हक चाहिए। pic.twitter.com/FG04p4U98o
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) December 27, 2021
Before Priyanka, on Monday 27 December, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi also tweeted in support of the protesting doctors. She wrote,
“Splashing flowers was the PR of the show; in reality, injustice is being showered. I am with the COVID Warriors against the atrocities of the Central Government.”
फूल बरसाना दिखावे का PR था,
असलियत में अन्याय बरसा रहें हैं।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 27, 2021
What’s the matter?
Doctors are on strike due to the delay in NEET PG counselling 2021. Every year in the country, the exam for NEET-PG is held in January, and doctors join by May. This year, i.e. in 2021, due to COVID, this exam could not be held in January.
The exam was held in September, the result came, but the counselling has not happened yet. According to the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), the matter has gone back almost a year. About 45 to 47 thousand MBBS doctors are waiting to do PG.
Why are the resident doctors on strike?
The resident doctors being on strike is the increasing pressure on them. PG is a three-year course. Due to lack of counselling, admissions in the first year have not yet taken place this year. This has increased the pressure on the second-year doctors.
He has to work for the first year also. One of their concerns is that the third-year resident doctors’ course is nearing completion; with their departure, the work of second-year students will increase. Regarding this, Ford’s General Secretary Dr Sunil Arora said in a conversation with the media,
“There is pressure on all the resident doctors. Their training is getting affected, and the work pressure is also increasing. There is different training in PG every year. Training is not happening due to stress.
If there is no specialisation course training, it can affect the career. This is the reason why resident doctors who are in medical colleges are compelled to strike demanding admission of fresh students.”
Why delay in counselling?
After the notification of the NEET PG exam this year, the government implemented a new reservation policy. In this, some changes were made in EWS and OBC criteria. When this was opposed, the matter went to the Supreme Court. NEET PG Counseling was to start from 25 October 2021.
But the Supreme Court put a stay on it due to the validity of the EWS quota. The protesting resident doctors are demanding the government complete the counselling and the court proceedings expeditiously. The Supreme’s next hearing on this matter will be held on 6 January 2022.