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Resident doctors continue to protest on seventh day

The doctors have been protesting against delays in NEET PG counselling.

SNS | New Delhi |

Paralysing the medical services of capital, resident doctors at Safdarjung, RML, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Lok Nayak, and Guru Teg Bahadur hospitals continued their protest in a row for the seventh consecutive day against the delays in NEET PG counselling that has left nearly 45,000 medical students waiting to join the workforce.

With only two-thirds of resident doctors available at the hospitals, the other doctors in the hospital are severely overworked.

Lok Nayak hospital, which is usually abuzz with patients clamoring to see doctors or getting medicines, had no queues outside the consultation rooms on Wednesday afternoon.

“Fewer patients are coming to the hospital now as they know that the doctors are on strike. Although all services are open and senior doctors are seeing patients, very few are coming in,” a guard posted outside the gynecology department of the hospital said.

The doctors have been protesting against delays in NEET PG counselling. A senior doctor from the hospital said that they are able to manage the services as some of the resident doctors have continued working.

The hospital is also a designated centre for the treatment of Omicron patients.

The resident doctors have been protesting outside the Union Health Ministry’s office as well. “Residents are the backbone of the services at these hospitals. Even though there is a threat of a surge in Covid cases, the government is not listening to us. I have attended at least five meetings with the Union Health Minister but all we have received are verbal assurances. The case is also pending before the court as the Ministry has asked for time to submit documents related to the EWS reservation,” Dr Manish Kumar, president of the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association that is leading the nationwide protests, said.

He added that the residents will not call off the strike even if the Essential Services Maintenance Act is invoked, which declares agitations to be an offence.