Guwahati, Nov 27: Junior doctors of government medical colleges of Assam on Saturday staged protests against the delay in conducting NEET-PG 2021 counselling, claiming it has increased the workload of the already overburdened resident doctors.
The protests were a part of a nationwide call by the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) for suspension of out-patient department (OPD) services at hospitals from November 27.
The protesting doctors at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here said the delay in the counselling process is leading to excess work pressure.
We understand that the process got delayed due to the pandemic. But the delay has been too long. We demand that the counselling be completed at the earliest.
COVID has put an extra workload on us and on top of it, we are having to work with half of our positions remaining vacant. We hope those in authority understand our problem, a protesting junior doctor said.
Another doctor, participating in a similar protest at Fakruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital at Barpeta, said, We are looking forward to January 6 when the Supreme Court will hear the case again and hope that a final verdict is delivered.
Junior doctors of medical colleges and hospitals at Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Tezpur also joined in the nationwide stir.
They refrained from attending OPD services and staged demonstrations in the hospital premises, displaying placards in support of their demands.
The medical fraternity body had called for the nationwide strike over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling process after the Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the process will be further postponed by four weeks as it was reconsidering the Rs eight lakh annual income criteria for determining the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category for reservations in admissions.
The Association had urged the Centre and the Supreme Court to take necessary measures for expediting counselling and admission besides fast-tracking the court proceedings on an urgent basis.
The apex court has fixed January 6 as the next date for hearing. It is hearing a batch of pleas filed by students challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) July 29 notice providing 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10 per cent for EWS category in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-PG) admissions for medical courses for the current academic year.
On October 25, the Centre had assured the top court that the counselling process of NEET-PG examination will not commence till the court decides the challenge to the proposed reservations in PG All India Quota seats (MBBS/BDS and MD/MS/MDS) from the current academic year 2021-22.
The apex court had on October 21 asked the Centre whether it would like to revisit the limit of Rs eight lakh annual income fixed for determining the EWS category for reservation in NEET PG admissions and sought answers to some pin-pointed questions on the issue.