Health services were badly hit at the Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) in Dibrugarh on Monday as junior resident doctors of the hospital observed the strike.

The junior doctors boycotted work as part of a nationwide strike called to show displeasure due to no first-year counselling of postgraduate courses for a year.

“The junior resident doctors across the nation have been working tirelessly doing both their normal as well as COVID duties with two-third of the total manpower for the last six months after the 2018 batch of residents passed out in May 2021.

“The NEET PG Examination which was supposed to happen in January, 2021 actually took place in September and the new batch of resident doctors was supposed to join at least by October, but so far even the counselling process has not been initiated owing to court proceedings.

Therefore, to mark our protest, in union with the Federation of Residents’ Association (FORDA) and as decided by the Resident Doctors Associations across the country, we the resident doctors of AMCH have withdrawn from all our academic works and routine services including OPD services, elective OT services and ward services,” President of the Junior Doctors Association (JDA), AMCH, Dr Kirshan Hanse Chinthong, said.

Dr Iftikar Hussain, general secretary, JDA, AMCH said, “Our repeated appeals to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare over the last few days to actively intervene to accelerate the entire process have fallen on deaf ears and there has been no progress in the same except verbal assurances from the concerned authority.”

Earlier, our withdrawal from OPD services on November 27 as a symbol of protest failed to evoke a response and with the possibility of an upcoming Covid-19 pandemic, the situation will be disastrous for the healthcare sector if the issue is not addressed in due time, he said.

“We would once again like to urge the centre and the Honourable Supreme Court of India to take concrete measures to fast track the court proceedings and expedite the entire process of NEET PG 2021 counselling and admission on an urgent basis.

“Otherwise, the onus of any unfortunate situation affecting the healthcare services will be on the concerned authority, Hussain added.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com