New Delhi: A federation of resident doctors association, which has been spearheading a nationwide protest over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling since November 27, on Thursday said the stir has been “suspended for a week”.
In a statement, the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) said the decision has been taken in view of the developments in the last few days in connection with the issue, and the death of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and others in a helicopter crash on Wednesday.
FORDA has decided to “hold the agitation for a period of one week” after discussing with state RDAs in a virtual meeting held on Thursday, it said.
“We express our sincere gratitude to all resident doctors of the nation who came forward & joined the agitation called by FORDA. We are resuming all services with immediate effect. In case the issue is not addressed by 16th December, 2021, we will be forced to call for complete shutdown of all services except COVID areas in healthcare institutions,” the statement said.
While FORDA president Dr Manish claimed all RDAs have aligned with FORDA’s decision, Dr Akash Yadav, vice-president of resident doctors association of Delhi government-run Maulana Azad Medical College, said, “MAMC RDA is yet to take any decision on it”.
Beginning Thursday morning, MAMC resident doctors have boycotted all routine and emergency services as part of the nationwide protests over the delay in NEET-PG counselling that has affected patient care at three facilities attached to it.
Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, G B Pant Hospital and Guru Nanak Eye Centre are attached with MAMC. LNJP is the biggest facility in the city run by the Delhi government, and has been the nerve centre of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued late night on Tuesday, the MAMC RDA had said, “Even after boycott by many institutions of Delhi, we continued to run emergency services, but apathy of government and plight of overburdened residents have brought us to do total boycott of all services including OPD, OT, Ward and Emergency services from 09/12/21 (Thursday)”.
“Functioning of ICU and Covid wards will not be affected to safeguard the interests of critically ill patients,” it had said.
Meanwhile, general secretary of RDA of Safdarjung Hospital, Dr Anuj Aggarwal, on Thursday said, “Yes, we support the decision of FORDA for holding the protest for one week, hoping for the urgent intervention by Government of India to fast-track the process”.
However, the stand taken by RDAs of other hospitals was not known yet.
Resident doctors of Centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge hospitals have been boycotting all routine and emergency services for over three consecutive days as part of the nationwide protest.
As part of the agitation, the RDA members of Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday had taken out a protest march in the streets around the hospital campus, demanding expediting of the counselling process.
Scores of doctors held placards and raised slogans as they marched on roads near Connaught Place, the heart of the city, on Wednesday.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had earlier sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to ensure that post-graduate admissions are done on a war-footing.