Around 1000 resident doctors, who are Postgraduate students as well, have abandoned their medical services and are protesting against the health department officials at the Porsche of BJ Medical College since June 15. These doctors from Civil hospital and BJ Medical College have completed their MD and MS courses. Through this protests, the doctors are demanding that the health department waive off their bonds as they have already served in government medical facilities for more than year during Covid. The young doctors had to resort to agitation since the department took no action despite their repeated requests. In fact, the health department officials have instead ordered them to vacate their hostels at the civil hospital within 24 hours twice until now.
The students demand that their bond period should be considered as their senior residency term. Students say that they had written to the Chief Minister’s office also, from where they had received a favourable response, but the health department officials have not announced the relaxation yet.
“We were handed a final notice yesterday stating that we (protesting doctors) are supposed to vacate the hostel premises within 24 hours. Earlier as well, we have been given out such notice but out of us resident doctors 50% are female so considering that we did not vacate the premises earlier. But today if they pressurize us to compulsorily vacate the hostel, then we will take out all our luggage and continue our protest in the BJ medical college campus as we have studied here ” Rahul Gamiti, Junior Doctor’s Association (JDA) representative from BJ Medical College.
Doctor Harsh, senior resident doctor working at the Civil Hospital dept of orthopaedics, explained that until now these protesting students have diligently done their Covid duties but despite that, the government has not yet issued any reply to their demand. Government instead has rather asked them to leave their hostel premises. He said, “We are putting our demands in front of the government for the last three to four months to consider our PG bond services into senior residency as we all are residents of civil hospital Ahmedabad. We have worked 17 months Covid as part of covid duty along with 36 months of our residency curriculum, it is almost as if 50% of our residency curriculum we have spent in covid duty. Now, to compensate for our academic loss we are putting this demand to include our PG bond services into senior residency so that we can get exposure to treating patients as per our speciality in Civil hospital and along with that, during that tenure of 1 year we can also provide services to the rural areas as a part of deputation.”
“Our demand is simple. Of our 36 months of residency tenure for MD, we have worked for 17 months on Covid duty. As such, in accordance to the benefits which have given to the previous batches, the Bond services should be inculcated in our Senior residency tenure as well. However, the government feels that we doctors don’t want to go and work in rural areas as part of the residency programme but I would like to convey that all of us protesting here are ready to work in any rural district they send us to,” said Doctor Dhaval Gajera, Pulmonologist.
A government-run medical college requires PG students to sign bonds for Rs 40 lakh each. Students who are unable to work at these rural centres for a year will have to pay the bond amount. Undergraduate students are required to sign bonds for Rs 20 lakh each.