New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The resident doctors in Delhi on Friday decided to call off their strike against the delay in NEET-PG counselling 2021. The president of the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) said that the strike will be called off after 12 pm on Friday.

"We had a meeting with Joint CP last night. Withdrawal of FIR process started (in connection with ITO protest). After 12 pm today we'll call off our strike against the delay in NEET 2021 counselling," said Dr Manish, FORDA President.

"Patients are already suffering, many surgeries deferred. Considering this situation they are calling off the strike at 12pm today," he added.

Earlier, FORDA proposed three demands to end the protest over the delay in NEET-PG counselling and the alleged manhandling of doctors by the police.

After resident doctors across the country continued their protest against the delay in NEET-PG counselling and warned of withdrawing "all healthcare services", the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday had called an emergency meeting with a 12-member delegation of FORDA representatives.

On December 24, the 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.

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.

Why were resident doctors on the streets?

The resident doctors' demands are simple: Conduct counseling for NEET-PG examination, the National Eligibility Entrance Test for entrance to post-graduate courses, so that those selected will add to the strength of the existing inadequate number of resident doctors across medical institutions in India.

Since March 2020, it has been the resident doctors that have borne the maximum load of the pandemic with long hours of duties, endless time away from families and, in several cases, facing the wrath of relatives of the patients who succumbed to coronavirus.

The resident doctors were hoping to get additional hands once the NEET PG admissions were done. The examination that was scheduled in April 2021 was postponed due to the second wave that time. In September, finally the written examination was conducted but the interviews/counseling sessions have been pending.

The government has been delaying it as it claimed the matter about Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota is sub judice and hence it cannot go ahead with the admissions.

At a time when India and the whole world is staring at a possible third wave thanks to the Omicron variant, the doctors can always do with additional hands. With the government not relenting, the resident doctors across India started the protests on November 27.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta