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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightDelhi doctors protest:...

Delhi doctors protest: resident doctors allege brutal police crackdown, threaten suspension of services

Delhi doctors protest: resident doctors allege brutal police crackdown, threaten suspension of services

Image Credit: Vipin Kumar via Twitter

A protest spearheaded by the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) has alleged that police brutally cracked down oa march from Maulana Azad Medical College to the Supreme Court to protest allocation of college allotments following the NEET exam. Several doctors associations have come out in support of the protest and proclaimed a shutdown of medical services from Wednesday.

In a statement condemning police action, FORDA claimed "police brutality" and called it a "Black day in the history of the medical fraternity".

FORDA also alleges that hundreds of its members were detained by the Delhi Police, which led to 4000 doctors staging a sit in at Sarojini Nagar police station around midnight on Monday to adhere to the coronavirus night curfew. They said they had been stopped from marching towards the Health Ministry's offices earlier in the day.

Image Credit: @Rdaucms on Twitter

Women doctors expressed their shock at the treatment meted out to protestors, with several telling media sources that they had been dragged or beaten. Police however have denied all claims of manhandling protestors and alleged that it was in fact, protestors who had manhandled the police, torn uniforms and smashed the glasses of vehicles.

In addition to this, protesting doctors had blocked the arterial ITO highway in the heart of Delhi for 6-8 hours despite being requested to move, police said. Only 12 doctors were detained according to police reports.

Image Credit: via Rohan Khandelwal (@docrohan)

Image Credit: @docrThe AIIMS Resident Doctors Association and Federation of All India Medical Association have come out in support of the striking doctors, with both calling for a complete shutdown of services (except essential) from Wednesday onwards if the government does not accede to the demands to expedite NEET PG seat allocation and counselling.

The ongoing protests which stretch back a month have intensified owing to the delay in admissions caused by doubts over the central government's decision to impose an 8 lakh income limit for Economically Weaker sections of students, which the Supreme Court had objected to.

FORDA and related associations have been demanding the admission of fresh batches of doctors as they claim existing medical staff are stretched to the limits and understaffed while the delay persists.

"With the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 pandemic looming large, the best the authorities could have done was to expedite the counselling and subsequent admission process. Instead, there is inaction and a lack of urgency in the matter. Hence, as informed earlier, resident doctors are left with no choice but to go for withdrawal from all services in healthcare institutions from December 17 onwards," FORDA said in a letter to Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

The association of resident doctors had previously met the Health Minister and written other letters in early December, when a strike was called at major hospitals like Lady Hardings and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital which suspended all services, including emergency.

Although the protestors had recieved assurance that the government was looking to expedite the matter, no action was taken according to FORDA, which then proceeded to call for nationwide protests. Resident doctors' associations' representatives from Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana had also joined the resident doctors of Delhi outside Nirman Bhawan.

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