FAIMA, AIIMS Join Doctors’ Protest, Say Authorities Cant Get Away With Oppressive Means

After police personnel allegedly lathi-charged the protesting resident doctors, the ongoing protest has gained more support. The Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) and AIIMS too have displayed support for the doctors. Amid the rise in Omicron cases in India, the doctors have called for another strike from December 29 which includes a shut down of emergency services.

“It’s high time for the government to release a report of what has been done to date. If no adequate response from the government is received within 24 hours, AIIMS RDA shall proceed with a token strike on 29/12/21 including the shutdown of all non-emergency services,” AIIMS doctors wrote in a letter to the Union health minister.

“If authorities think they can get away with using whatever oppressive means they have at their disposal, they are wrong,” said FAIMA in an official statement. They too have announced a complete withdrawal from all healthcare services across the country from 8 AM on December 29.

What Are Doctors Protesting Against?

The resident doctors are claiming that they have been overburdened and have asked the government to expedite the NEET PG counselling process. The counselling which was scheduled to begin in October has been deferred till January. The dealy is being caused because the central government has implemented 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections and 27 per cent reservation for OBC candidates in the All India Quota (AIQ) of NEET. For PG admissions 50 per cent of seats and for UG admissions 15 per cent of seats are allotted centrally under the All India Quota.

Doctors claim that they are “overburdened and exhausted”, have cleared their exams and yet are awaiting admissions. The SC, however, has asked the govt to relook at the rationale of having Rs 8 lakh as the annual income limit for the EWS quota. If the criteria are revised, the number of students availing of the quota will change.

Why Doctors and Police Clashed?

The stir, led by the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association, has been going on for several days, and FORDA also said that several of its members were “detained” when they tried to hold a protest march from Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) to Supreme Court. The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), the organisation leading the protest claims that several doctors have sustained injuries due to the clash. Several doctors were allegedly detained by the police force, and taken to police station premises. Police, however, denied allegations of lathi-charge or use of abusive language from their end, and said, 12 protestors were detained and released later.

In a statement issued later, FORDA said it was a “black day in the history of the medical fraternity”. “Resident doctors, the so-called ‘Corona Warriors’, protesting peacefully to expedite NEET PG Counselling 2021 were brutally thrashed, dragged and detained by the police,” it alleged “There will be a complete shutdown of all, healthcare institutions from today onwards,” the statement said.

In an official statement issued later, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Rohit Meena said, on Monday, a group of resident doctors “without having any authorised permission” blocked the BSZ Marg, the main road between ITO and Delhi gate, and jammed the traffic for more than six hours”. “They deliberately created nuisance on the main road and blocked both carriageways, causing hardship and harassment to commuters and the general public,” he claimed in the statement.

Doctors Return Taali & Thaali

Earlier, several resident doctors threw flowers on security barricades, and clanged utensils and clapped in front of the Health Ministry Office at Nirman Bhawan in Delhi saying they were symbolically “returning” the adulation showered on them for being Covid warriors. The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), organisation leading the protest, said in a statement, “Since the voices of thousands of resident doctors are not being heard by the authorities, we have returned the ‘taalis and thaalis’ that were clamoured, and ‘phool’ (flowers) which were showered upon us during the previous waves of COVID-19 pandemic”. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government authorities had showered floral petals from mid-air and had asked people to clang utensils and clap for a few minutes by coming out in the open in balconies of their homes, to acknowledge the doctors.

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