The Junior Doctors’ Network of the Indian Medical Association has demanded fast-tracking of the hearing to expedite the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test – Postgraduate (NEET PG) counselling, Asian News International reported. The network also extended its solidarity to resident doctors who have resorted to protests all over the country against the delays in counselling.
The Resident doctors in Delhi have suspended emergency and regular services in several medical colleges and also approached the Union Health Ministry to demand urgent resumption of the stalled process. The doctors intensified their protest on Monday, impacting patient care in several hospitals. Resident doctors have said three batches of junior residents generally support senior doctors and take care of the majority of workload in hospitals. However, because of the delay and postponement of counselling, only two batches are working — essentially meaning seats for an entire batch are lying vacant, leading to a shortage in the hospitals.
The doctors have also argued that senior postgraduate students would appear for their exams from January and were preparing for that, leading to a further decline in the number of junior doctors to take care of the massive workload.
The Union Health Ministry has already urged the protesting doctors to abandon their strike and return to work. Lady Hardinge Medical College Resident Doctors’ Association President Sunil Duchania said the authorities concerned were not bothered by the shortage of healthcare professionals.
The Supreme Court is hearing several petitions that challenged the Centre and a Medical Counselling Committee notice from July that provided for a 10% quota for economically weaker sections in NEET admissions. The legislation, ratified by Parliament in 2019, denotes a general category candidate whose family income is lower than Rs 8 lakh a year.
The petitions argue that this category would breach the 50% quota threshold directed by an apex court ruling in 1992.