Delhi Resident Doctors Allege Police Brutality, Warn Of Shutting Down Medical Services

Thousands of doctors have been on the road protesting for a month against the delay in college allotments and demanding to start the NEET-PG counselling at the earliest. Reportedly, the delays have also cost around 45,000 medical students one year of their education, still waiting to work.

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The resident doctors in Delhi on Monday, December 27, alleged that they have been victims of police brutality and have threatened to shut down non-emergency medical services completely, starting Wednesday.

Thousands of doctors have been on the road protesting for a month against the delay in college allotments and demanding to start the NEET-PG counselling at the earliest.

On Monday afternoon, the doctors decided to march towards Supreme Court as part of the protest, but the police officials detained several on their way.

The doctors alleged the police of manhandling, dragging, thrashing, and detaining while holding a peaceful protest. Hundreds of doctors and police sustained injuries in the clash.

Enraged with the detentions, thousands gathered and started marching towards the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya's residence.

Why Are They Protesting?

The NEET-PG test scheduled for April was postponed and conducted in September. After completing the exam, the counselling and admission process for the PG students could not begin due to some cases pending in the Supreme Court regarding the reservation quota introduced for the economically weaker sections.

The students currently working as junior residents have demanded the Apex Court to expedite the hearing, but there has been no update.

Reportedly, the Union Ministry had assured to complete the process, following which the doctors paused the protest, but they resumed on December 17, after no progress was made.

Many returned flowers and banged utensils, which were symbolic gestures for doctors during the pandemic. Many also returned their lab coats as a rejection to services.

Speaking to The Logical Indian, one of the protesters, Praveen Mehta alleged the police brutally thrashed, used abusive language, dragged and detained many protesters. Female doctors alleged they were manhandled during the march and have termed the day as 'Black Day' for the fraternity.


Effects On Hospitals

According to The Indian Express report, the lack of an incoming batch has resulted in a one-third of hospital staff shortfall. The senior faculty members and consultants, and other existing doctors are serving extra shifts to cover up the shortfall. They are demanding the authorities to fasten the hearing and the quota process to meet the requirement.

Delay Affecting Thousands

The delays have also cost around 45,000 medical students one year of their education, still waiting to work.

Protests Led By FORDA

The protest is led by the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) and have member doctors from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital.

Thousands of the FORDA members on a sit-in strike at the Sarojini Nagar police station called it off because of the coronavirus night curfew and returned to Safdarganj, NDTV reported.

Police Denies Allegations, Says Only 12 Detained & Released Later

The police, however, has denied allegations of using slurs and excessive force. They said only 12 protesters had been detained, and they were released later. The department claimed that the doctors had blocked a part of ITO road and were adamant about moving despite repeated requests.

Reportedly, the team also spoke to the association members to sort the issue, but nobody moved an inch, they added. When they tried to remove them from blocking the road, the protesters misbehaved and tried to tear their uniforms, and many even broke the glasses of the official vehicle.

Mass Resignation

Last week on Saturday, the doctors' association had said that the members would resign en masse from services if the demands were not met.

The Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) called upon all Resident Doctor associations, and other unions across India for a complete shutdown of healthcare services from 8 am on December 29 in solidarity with the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA).

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