AIIMS resident docs join strike
The agitating doctors are organising a march from Red Fort to Rajghat today.Updated: May 18, 2006 12:33 IST
Not satisfied with the government's decision to set up a three-member ministerial committee to look into the quota issue, striking medical students and resident doctors of the Capital were on Thursday set to take out a march to press for their demands as the anti-reservation stir entered the fifth day.
The agitating doctors from MCD hospitals are organising a march from Red Fort to Rajghat which will be joined by the doctors from other state-run hospitals and medical students, said Amitasha, a student representative from Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC).
While the talks between the protesting students and Union Minister Oscar Fernandes on Wednesday on the issue remained inconclusive, the agitationists said they were far from satisfied with the government move to set up a three-member ministerial committee to resolve the issue.
"We wanted a judicial committee to look into the issue. The political class has already cleared the proposal in Parliament, so what is the point in setting up a committee of three politicians to look into the issue," said Jitin Jaipuria of Delhi Medical Students Association.
Meanwhile, the indefinite hunger strike by medical students of the capital continued even as 15 of the protestors fainted on Wednesday on the fourth day of the fasting and had to be hospitalised.
"At least 15 of the students collapsed yesterday. The sugar levels of the students have dipped drastically as a result of the fasting, but we will continue with our hunger strike," Jaipuria said.
While there were around 100 students on hunger strike to begin with, now just about 30 are continuing with it.
AIIMS residents join hunger strike
Resident doctors at the AIIMS began a one-day hunger strike to express solidarity with protesting medical students already fasting indefinitely in the national capital.
"Resident doctors are begining a one-day hunger strike in support of students who are already on an indefinite hunger strike", Vice-President of the AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) Dr Subrato Mandal said.
He said the decision was taken at a General Body meeting on Wednesday night. "Private doctors are also joining us here for a relay hunger strike."
The RDA said non-medicos from JNU and DU have also extended support to their agitation and were joining them at the institute.
The government has meanwhile issued notices to striking medicos and have claimed that several of the doctors have resumed duties.
Meanwhile, the resident doctors met Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukerjee on Wednesday and presented their charter of demands. The minister assured them that the government would meet them again on the issue. "We are trying to fix an appointment (with Mukherjee) today," Mandal said.
Doctors of Safdarjung Hospital said they expected to be served notices on Thursday and would act accordingly after receiving the same.
Meanwhile, Dr NK Chaturvedi, Medical Superintendent of RML hospital said "health services are running fine, OPDs functioning and operations are going on," in his hospital.
He also added, "CGHS doctors and two railway doctors have been roped in to help the hospital."
Meanwhile, health services in the various hospitals in New Delhi were affected due to the strike by the medicos. However, OPD and emergency services were being run by specialists.
"The situation is far from normal with routine procedures not taking place as resident doctors form the backbone of the hospitals," a senior doctor of the Maulana Azad hospital said.
The Faculty Association of the AIIMS also extended support to the agitating students and doctors.
The Association, which observed a 'black day' on Wednesday, is planning to write to Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to resolve the crisis.
"We are against quota. We want the government to act fast now as children are starving and falling sick," a spokesperson of the Associaiton said referring to the students from the top five medical college in the national capital on a hunger strike since Sunday.
There also appeared to be a difference of opinion within the resident doctors' groups with some reportedly moving in favour of quota, they said.
RDA of five hospitals, including the AIIMS, Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and University College of Medical Sciences are demanding a rollback of the 27 per cent proposed reservation for OBCs.