NEET-PG counselling: Doctors’ body calls for complete shutdown of healthcare services against ‘police brutality

New Delhi: The resident doctors association of government-run hospitals has called for a complete shutdown of all healthcare institutions starting Monday after doctors were detained by the Delhi Police during the protest march against delay in NEET-PG counselling.

A protest march was held near Delhi`s Safdarjung Hospital on Monday evening following which the police said that seven cops were injured in the march near ITO and consequently registered an FIR under section 188 and other sections for causing obstruction in the duty of police personnel, and damaging public property.

Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) in a statement claimed “police brutality” and called it a “black day in the history of the medical fraternity”. It also said that resident doctors were protesting “peacefully” and alleged that they were “brutally thrashed, dragged and detained by the cops.”

“There will be a complete shutdown of all Healthcare Institutions today onwards. We strongly condemn this brutality and demand immediate release of FORDA Representatives and Resident doctors,” the statement issued on Monday read.

Meanwhile, AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (RDA) has called for a strike on December 29 including the shutdown of all non-emergency services if no “adequate” response from the government is received over alleged police brutality in the protest march.

The AIIMS RDA has demanded immediate release of detained doctors with an apology from the government and the police over alleged police brutality in the protest march.

AIIMS RDA in a letter to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said that it “strongly condemns this brutality of the police and the insensitivity of the government towards the medical fraternity and demands immediate release of all the detained doctors, with an apology from the government and the police.”

AIIMS RDA also demanded the government to release a report of what has been done till date, and government`s plans moving forward, for expediting NEET PG counselling.

“If no adequate response from the governrnent is received within 24 hrs, AIIMS RDA shall proceed with a token strike on December 29 induding shutdown of all non-emergency services. RDA, AIIMS does not believe in hampering of patient care services and hopes that the government will address the grievances in an appropriate and timely manner, and shall not force us to escalate the protest further,” the statement read.

It further stated that the day will be “remembered as a black day for the medical fraternity.” Meanwhile, Delhi Police said that a total of seven cops got injured during the protest of resident doctors near ITO. “FIR registered under Section 188 and other sections for causing obstruction in the duty of police personnel, and damaging public property during the protest,” it added.

On December 24, Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the NEET-PG counselling crisis and augment manpower to face a possible third wave of COVID-19 infections.

It is pertinent to note that the original NEET PG exam was scheduled in January 2021 but postponed in view of the first and second wave of COVID-19 and held on September 12, 2021, said the letter.

However, due to the legal impediments of the Supreme Court now the Counselling is withheld resulting in a shortage of 45000 doctors in the frontline, added the letter.