Published: 29th November 2021
Gujarat: 1,500 resident doctors on strike over NEET PG counselling, medical teachers stage protest demanding better pay
Resident doctors across the state opted out of the OPD (out-patient department) responsibilities from 9 am to 5 pm as part of the protest
Around 1,500 resident doctors of various medical colleges in Gujarat went on a day-long strike on November 29 to protest against the postponement of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for Postgraduate (NEET-PG) counselling. In a statement, the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) of BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad said that all medical colleges in the country were facing an acute shortage of the workforce due to continuous postponement of the NEET-PG counselling.
JDA President Dr Vishwajeet Raj, said, "As a result, in the absence of a new PG batch, only 66 per cent of resident doctors are available to attend to patients. This is putting extra pressure on the resident doctors, who are already suffering due to long COVID-19 duties."
Raj added that nearly 1,500 resident doctors across the state opted out of OPD (out-patient department) responsibilities from 9 am to 5 pm as part of the protest.
The Centre recently put on hold the counselling for NEET-PG 2021 until January next year and informed the Supreme Court of this. The NEET-PG courses are conducted for fields like the Master of Surgery and Doctor of Medicine. Counselling is part of the admission process.
A protesting doctor from Surat said, "Normally, postgraduates are admitted in May. Now, due to the postponement of counselling, the new batch of PG students will arrive in March next year. Thus, instead of three batches, resident doctors of only two batches are attending to all the patients for the last one year. This has increased our workload."
Teachers demand fair pay
Hundreds of professors and lecturers of various government medical colleges and Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS)-run medical colleges also held protests across the state over their long-pending demands, including payment of arrears as per the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations.
Gujarat Medical Teachers Association President Dr Rajnish Patel said, "We are not on strike. We will continue our work wearing black bands on our hands as part of our protest. Our key demands are payment of arrears, higher non-practising allowance for teachers as per the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations and a hike in the cap on maximum monthly salary."