Doctors' strike hits OPDs

Protest called off after govt assurance on MBBS course

Senior resident doctors and medical students of AIIMS and several other Delhi hospitals went on a strike on Thursday demanding revision of the proposed MBBS course structure. 

OPD and ward services were badly affected due to the protest. The doctors called off the protest after Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad asked the officers concerned to keep the notification in abeyance. A letter to this effect has been issued to the Medical Council of India. 

On Thursday, doctors from AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Lady Hardinge Medical College, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital went on a strike and joined the medical students protesting outside the health ministry’s office at Nirman Bhavan. 

They were threatening to go on an indefinite strike against the recently cleared proposal to increase 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. 

Senior Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of AIIMS had given a notice to the Medical Superintendent about their strike. Earlier, on Wednesday evening the RDA had officially extended its support to the AIIMS students Union’s protest. At Lok Nayak Hospital outpatients department (OPD) services were severely affected due to the strike.
Several patients and their family members were in distress as many severely injured patients couldn’t be admitted, said Subhash Chandra Sood of the hospital’s union.The hospital authorities had not put any notice about the strike, he added. At other hospitals as well some patients were turned away, while many were asked to go to some other hospitals, citing non-availability of doctors. 

The Union Minister said the period of MBBS Course has not been extended by two years. He also told that rural posting will not be mandatory for appearing in PG examination for the year 2015-16.

Delhi Health Minister met a delegation of students and interns of medical college of NCT of Delhi who on Wednesday were allegedly cane charged by police when they tried to break the barricades at Nirman Bhawan. Satyendra wrote a letter to Azad condemning ‘police highhandedness’.

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