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PGI?s poser challenges parliamentarians

We challenge the government that it should make it a rule that all Members of Parliament and state legislature should undergo treatment only from doctors in the reserved category. This is not the statement coming for agitating resident doctors. This is the statement by the Faculty Forum of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Lucknow. The statement was issued at a press conference at the institute on Friday afternoon.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 01:32 IST

Faculty Forum scores a nationwide first

We challenge the government that it should make it a rule that all Members of Parliament and state legislature should undergo treatment only from doctors in the reserved category.

This is not the statement coming for agitating resident doctors. This is the statement by the Faculty Forum of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Lucknow. The statement was issued at a press conference at the institute on Friday afternoon.

The SGPGIMS Faculty Forum becomes the first faculty forum in the country to have come out openly to oppose the reservation issue. The forum, like other faculty fora in AIIMS or PGI Chandigarh, till now had been giving moral support to the resident doctors’ agitation. “We have joined the agitation,” they announced.

The statement was issued at a press conference at the institute. The forum had plans that all faculty members would go on a mass casual leave for one day, but as the resident doctors went on strike and ESMA was imposed, the faculty had to put the plan on hold.

The faculty of the institute that had been giving moral support to the resident doctors’ strike right from day one by wearing black bands and attending demonstrations by residents, issued their own statement against the reservation issue.

The statement said that the SGPGIMS has been founded on three pillars—as an institution of excellence in teaching, patient care and research vide the SGPGIMS Act, 1983. Consequent to these tenets, the faculty of the institute wishes to place on record its commitment to ‘Merit and Merit alone’ as the modality of selection and appointment at the Institute. “The faculty is fully opposed to any other modality of selection of compromised merit on its rank and file,” a member said.

The faculty in a written statement said: “The faculty strongly expresses its opinion that the Union Government is under obligation of the Directive Principles of State Policy as well as the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, to provide basic education and financial assistance to all needy sections of society till Class 12, which shall be really enabling the deprived and underprivileged sections of our people, and shall make them as equal competitors on the national as well as the international scene.”

Reservations, instead of social justice, are bringing deeper social divide everywhere and it is resurrecting the ghost of casteism in India, as it does nothing to improve their basic caliber, but only guarantees jobs and privileges without making the masses eligible for the same, particularly in this era of globalisation and knowledge driven world.

Earlier, the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of SGPGIMS had challenged the imposition of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) by the State Government on the striking resident doctors. The RDA filed a petition in the Lucknow Bench of High Court on Thursday and it came up for hearing on Friday.

The court has asked the State Government to file a response in three weeks’ time.

The RDA petition made a plea that the resident doctors were not in employment with the SGPGIMS but simply pursuing their Post-PG courses—M Ch and DM.

Patient care is not under any employment, so ESMA should not be invoked against them.

By its May 22, 2005 notification the State Government had prohibited a strike by the resident doctors of the SGPGIMS, still the resident doctors went ahead with their strike. On the very second day of the current strike, the State Government invoked ESMA against the striking medicos and warned that if they did not return to their duties, their services would be terminated. The RDA challenged the imposition of ESMA on resident doctors in court.