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Symbolic protest affects working in MY Hospital

THE STRIKE called by the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) of Indore, to protest the police action on doctors in Mumbai who were agitating against the proposal for the OBC quota in elite educational institutions, turned out to be a mere symbolic protest although it affected services at the States biggest government hospital, Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Hospital (MYH) today.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 23:53 IST

THE STRIKE called by the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) of Indore, to protest the police action on doctors in Mumbai who were agitating against the proposal for the OBC quota in elite educational institutions, turned out to be a mere symbolic protest although it affected services at the States biggest government hospital, Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Hospital (MYH) today.

Only essential, and emergency services were working and appointments for routine activities were either cancelled or rescheduled. Most operations except those necessary were cancelled.

Since both the patients and the hospital administration had prior information about the strike there was no panic like situation and the hospital authorities could make alternate arrangements.

However, the services were far from normal. The hospital administration had not arrangements to meet the additional demands.

The senior doctors along with a handful of junior doctors attended the patients. The tardy speed of work led to long queues outside the Out Patients Department (OPD).

However, the number of patients coming to the hospital did not come down and people from outside were seen camping in the hospital corridors waiting for the strike to end.

The lull in the protests in the State was broken when the police took action against the protestors in Mumbai and Delhi. Yesterday the student body of the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College (MGM) blew the bugle of protests by raising their voice against reservation. The students having limitations of Under Graduate (UG) norms lent their support to the JDA by boycotting classes.

Meanwhile, the local wing of the Indore Medical Association (IMA) also announced their protest plans. “The IMA Indore branch will take out a protest rally on May 18 and sport a black band in protest tomorrow against the propose reservation policy in institutes of higher learning,” IMA national Vice President,” Dr S N Goyal told reporters here today.

Goyal also said that the IMA is mulling over a suggestion not to include those doctors in the body who were taking advantage of the reservation policy from one generation to other to set an example in the society.

An ultimatum would be served to the government to make a rethink on its dubious policies and if their demands were not met they would go on a nation wide strike on May 25.

Goyal said that a policy like reservation did not exist in any country of the world and repeated use of this card as a ploy to attract people tagged as vote bank by politicians across all party lines was detrimental to the progress of the country.

The constitution makers had envisaged that after a certain period reservation be revised every 10 years and decreased in a gradual manner so that after accomplishment of its purpose it be removed all together.

All India IMA president Dr Sanjeev Mullick has asked the government to withdraw its proposal failing which the whole fraternity would go on strike. The issue of reservation has been put on the top of the agenda at the annual meeting to be held in Mount Abu.

Agarawal said that their protest would be long drawn and hence would be held in phases. He termed the atrocity against students as a ‘repeat of Jallianwala Bagh’.

“We are of the opinion that once a person takes the benefit of reservation policy then that person is at par with others in the society and therefore, he or she should not take its benefit for his/her children,” Goyal said.

The benefit of reservation should be given on the basis of economic criteria to all the categories of the society and not just on the basis of a particular caste, they said.

The doctors also called other professionals of the society and people at large to join hands with the medical fraternity in opposing the anti-progressive reservation policy.

First Published: May 16, 2006 23:53 IST