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Doctors go on strike against longer duration MBBS course plan

New Delhi, Feb 13, 2014 (PTI) 14:37 IST
DH Photo. For representation only.
Senior resident doctors and medical students of top Delhi hospitals, including AIIMS, went on strike today leading to closure of OPDs, demanding revision of the recently cleared proposal of the MBBS course structure.

Only the emergency services will be available in the hospitals which is likely to cause distress for the patients.

Doctors from AIIMS, Guru Teg Bahadur hospital, Safdarjung hospital, Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Lady Hardinge Medical College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Ram Manohar Lohiya hospital have gone on a strike and joined the medical students who are protesting outside the health ministry's office at Nirman Bhavan demanding revision of the proposed MBBS course structure.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is expected to meet them today but if their demands are not met, the doctors threatened to go on a indefinite strike.

Senior Resident Doctors Association (RDA)of AIIMS today gave the notice to the Medical Superintendent, informing him about the latest development, sources said.

The RDA had officially extended their support to the AIIMS students Union in the protest, yesterday evening.

The protest is against the health ministry's recently cleared proposal for increasing the duration of MBBS course from existing 5.5 years to 6.5 years with an addition of a compulsory one-year rural posting for admission into postgraduate programmes.

The students are demanding that instead of increasing the course duration, the compulsory one year rural posting be either incorporated within the existing MBBS course structure or included as part of the PG curriculum.

The strike was initiated after the police allegedly resorted to lathicharge and usage of water cannons when a few of the protesters tried to get past barricades yesterday.Protestors have alleged that during the lathicharge several doctors including women doctors were grievously hurt and had to be rushed to hospital.

"These medical students were peacefully protesting and the police resorted to lathicharge without any warning. Several doctors have been grievously hurt and had to be rushed to hospital," said Rajan Aggarwal, treasurer of the Resident Doctors Association in Guru Teg Bahadur hospital.

"That is why we have decided to join the medical students and interns and go on a strike from today," he added.

"We may file an FIR against the police official who ordered the lathicharge," a student leader said.

The protesters said they have submitted a memorandum to the Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry Vishwas Mehta.

"We are not against rural postings, but we want the one- year rural internship to be either incorporated within the existing MBBS course structure or included as part of the PG curriculum," said Dr Anirudh Lochan, national secretary of the Young Doctors Association of India.

Around 2,000 doctors from AIIMS, University College of Medical Sciences, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Maulana Azad Medical College took part in the protest staged at yesterday.

The Health Secretary met some of the protesting students yesterday noon and assured them that their concerns would be looked into.

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