Resident doctors, who alleged police brutality during a march in the city on Monday, continued to boycott work for the 12th day on Tuesday as a protest against the delay in NEET-PG counselling.
About 5,000 to 6,000 resident doctors of multiple city hospitals boycotted all work on Tuesday, except for COVID-19 duty, according to the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA).
In the afternoon, members of FORDA met with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who urged protesting doctors to join duty so that the public does not suffer.
“Today, I met with resident doctors. We are not able to do the counselling because the matter is sub judice before the Supreme Court. There is a hearing on [the matter] on 6th [January] and the government will submit its report to the court before that and I will request to start the counselling soon,” the Minister said after the meeting.
After the meeting FORDA president, Dr. Manish, said that the protest was still on and they will take a call on further course of action after a meeting at 8 pm.
“Today we had a meeting with the Health Minister. He said that there is a Supreme Court hearing on 6th (January) and he will try his best that counselling’s date will come on that day. We said that we need a written apology from Delhi Police for police beating and abusing resident doctors. The Minister said that we’ll get a written apology too. He also promised cancellation of the FIR,” Dr. Manish said.
On Monday, the doctors were marching towards the Supreme Court when they were stopped by police near ITO. FORDA said that the doctors were “brutally thrashed, dragged, and detained’ by the Delhi Police. A senior police officer said that no doctor was thrashed.
Later in the day, a senior police officer said that a FIR of rioting, causing obstruction in duty of police personnel and damaging public property at IP Estate Police Station against the doctors after a complaint was filed by a police official.
Doctors who have completed MBBS have to go through the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) PG to get into post graduate courses.
While the NEET-PG examination was held in September, counselling has not been conducted because of cases pending in the Supreme Court over reservations for the economically weaker section.
The resident doctors have been protesting to start the counselling.
The agitation began on November 27 with resident doctors boycotting work in the OPD (Out Patient Department) and gradually escalated to “withdrawal from all service” (routine as well as emergency).
The boycott was suspended on December 9 after the doctors were given assurances that the counselling schedule will be released in a week, but they resumed the boycott from December 17 as it did not happen, according to FORDA.