NEW DELHI: The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), spearheading a nationwide protest since November 27 over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling, said on Thursday that the stir has been suspended for a week.
In a statement, it said the decision has been taken in view of developments over the issue in the last few days and the death of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and others in a copter crash on Wednesday.
FORDA has decided to put the agitation on hold for one week after holding discussions with representatives of state RDAs virtually on Thursday, it said.
“We express our sincere gratitude to all resident doctors of the nation who came forward and joined the agitation. We are resuming all services with immediate effect.
“In case the issue is not addressed by December 16, 2021, we will be forced to call for a complete shutdown of all services except Covid areas in healthcare institutions,” the statement said.
While FORDA president Dr Manish claimed all RDAs have aligned with its decision, Dr Akash Yadav, vice-president of resident doctors association of Delhi government-run Maulana Azad Medical College, said, “MAMC RDA is yet to take any decision on it”.
MAMC resident doctors had from Thursday morning boycotted all routine and emergency services as part of the nationwide stir, affecting patient care at three facilities attached to it.
Lok Nayak Jaiprakash (LNJP) Hospital, G B Pant Hospital and Guru Nanak Eye Centre are attached with MAMC.
LNJP is the biggest healthcare facility run by the Delhi government and is the nerve centre of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued late on Tuesday night, the MAMC RDA said, “Even after the boycott by many institutions of Delhi, we continued to run emergency services. But apathy of government and plight of overburdened residents have brought us to do total boycott of all services including OPD, OT, Ward and Emergency services from 09/12/21 (Thursday).”
“Functioning of ICU and Covid wards will not be affected to safeguard the interests of critically ill patients,” it had said.
Meanwhile, the general secretary of RDA of Safdarjung Hospital, Dr Anuj Aggarwal, on Thursday said, “We support the decision of FORDA for putting on hold the protest for one week while hoping for the urgent intervention by the Government of India to fast-track the process.”
Resident doctors at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital resumed all duties following the announcement by the FORDA.
Resident doctors of Lady Hardinge also resumed Emergency Services but are likely to refrain from other rendering routine services for a week.
The stand of RDAs at other hospitals was not known yet.
Resident doctors of Centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge hospitals boycotting all routine and emergency services for over three consecutive days, as part of the nationwide protest, affecting patient care.
Members of the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital had taken out a march on the streets near the campus on Wednesday demanding expediting of the counselling process.
Scores of doctors, holding placards and raising slogans marched near Connaught Place.
The Indian Medical Association has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to ensure that post-graduate admissions are done on a war footing.
Because of the protests, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital administration on Monday had issued a circular saying that all residents doctors appointed on ad hoc “cannot indulge themselves nor participate in any strike activity”.
“Non-observance of the rules attracts disciplinary action as deemed fit, including termination. This issue with the approval of Medical Superintendent,” the circular had warned.