New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The stir by resident doctors in Delhi, who have been protesting over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling entered into its 14th day on Thursday. Due to the stir, patient care has been affected at three Centre-run facilities of Safdarjung, RML and Lady Hardinge hospitals and some of the Delhi government-run hospitals as well.

The stir took a dramatic turn on Monday after a violent face-off between the police and doctors in Delhi with both sides claiming injuries. Delhi Police has claimed that a total of seven of its personnel were injured during the protest of resident doctors near ITO. Meanwhile, FORDA, which is spearheading the protest, in a statement alleged "police brutality" during the march and said that several of the resident doctors were allegedly detained.

The stir further intensified after members of more RDAs joined the protest in the national capital. Resident doctors association of the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital (RGSSH) also joined the protest on Wednesday and demanded expediting of the NEET PG counselling process. Apart from them, members of the RDAs at the Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya and Northern Railway Central Hospital also joined the demonstration.

Located in East Delhi, RGSSH, which comes under the Delhi government, is one of the key facilities for treatment of COVID-19 in the city while the Northern Railway Central Hospital is one of the busiest facilities in Delhi.

Why the doctors are protesting and what are their demands?

The resident doctors are protesting against the delay in NEET-PG Counselling and demanding that the process should be expedited to overcome the shortage of doctors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The process of the NEET-PG Counselling was halted due to the outcome of a batch of petitions being heard by the Supreme Court over economic reservations. The resident doctors have claimed that the withheld of the counselling process has led to the shortage of the 45,000 doctors on the frontline.

Earlier in the month, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had written a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to interfere in the matter and resolve the NEET-PG Counselling crisis to aid the augmentation of manpower and doctors to face the possible and inevitable third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, a meeting between the FORDA and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya was held on Tuesday, however, the meeting failed to make any headway. After the meet, the doctors' bodies had said that the response from the government was not satisfactory. Health Minister, meanwhile, urged the protesting doctors to end their stir and return to work in the interest of human welfare.

Meanwhile, the doctors' association has said it will continue the protest from Safdarjung Hospital until their demands are met. "As night curfew has been imposed in the city, we returned to Safdarjung and will continue our protest from there," said Dr Kul Saurabh Kaushik, general secretary of FORDA, on Tuesday.

NEET PG exam was scheduled to be held in January 2021 but postponed in view of the first and second wave of COVID-19 and held on September 12, 2021. However, due to the legal impediments of the Supreme Court now the Counselling is withheld resulting in a shortage of 45000 doctors on the frontline.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan