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Minister allows ad-hoc appointment of docs

Welcoming the move, the junior doctors' body of BJ Medical College has decided to join back on duty.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
December 10, 2021 1:45:10 am
Resident doctors in Gujarat have been protesting the delay in NEET-PG admissions, primarily on the ground that the absence of postgraduate doctors increases their load.

With resident doctors in the state withdrawing from emergency and Covid-19 duties in protest against delayed NEET-PG admissions, including at BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel on Thursday announced that until postgraduate admissions take place, deans have been empowered to recruit doctors to fill up 50 percent of the vacancy. Welcoming the move, the junior doctors’ body of BJ Medical College has decided to join back on duty.

Resident doctors in Gujarat have been protesting the delay in NEET-PG admissions, primarily on the ground that the absence of postgraduate doctors increases their load. A demand from the protesting doctors in the state has been to appoint medical officers to assist in the resident doctors’ work until the new batch joins. Patel added regular recruitments by the state are ongoing.

Until NEET-PG admissions are undertaken, on a temporary basis, for state government-run hospitals in cities like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Bhavnagar, deans have been empowered to recruit nearly 543 resident doctors at a stipend of Rs 63,000.

With first year postgraduate positions vacant in medical colleges owing to the delay in counselling, these will be ad-hoc appointments and eligible candidates who will be considered by the deans will be those who have completed their MBBS, have appeared for NEET-PG examination and have received their results, to be appointed as ‘junior residents’.

As a dean of a government medical college explained, “With no first year admissions, one-third of the postgraduate student strength is missing. There are students who are sitting at home after completing NEET-PG exams, waiting for the counselling. So this will be a win-win situation, where our burden reduces and those sitting at home also get to gather experience.”

Patel, in a press briefing, also announced that 260 MBBS doctors through GPSC and around 100 experts at PHC, CHC and district-level hospitals have been appointed by the state. In a press release by the state government, it was also stated that 165 MBBS doctors will be deputed at six state government-run hospitals.

With the matter of NEET-PG counselling being pending for hearing before the Supreme Court owing to a government notification pertaining to reservation for OBC, and EWS in all-India seats, being challenged before the top court, Patel said, “If a decision (from the Supreme Court) comes, well and good, but if not, Gujarat government is making sufficient arrangements to take off the burden (from resident doctors).”

Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), an all-India association, issued a press note on Thusday announcing that it will hold off its protests for a week owing to assurances from the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya that the office of the Prime Minister is looking at the issue and that the process will be completed within a week.

The press note also stated that another reason for the association to hold off the protest is “looking at the security situation in the nation owing to the untimely demise of Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat and other army personnel.”

While Patel during his press briefing also referred to FORDA’s release, Junior Doctors’ Association of BJ Medical College (JDA BJMC) in a statement clarified that it is “not associated with FORDA or any such associations”.

JDA BJMC welcomed the state government’s move to “accept a key demand to appoint non-academic junior residents” and declared that they shall now be joining back on duty.

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