Doctors protest against Bond policy escalates across the country, Haryana cancels NEET Counselling

Chandigarh: The MBBS bond policy row in Haryana has created a major uproar amidst the medical fraternity across the country who are observing Black Day in solidarity with the doctors who were manhandled and detained by police for protesting against the bond conditions.

Medical Dialogues had previously reported that as per a circular by the State Government of Haryana, Rs 10 lakh annual bond policy was supposed to remain effective for this academic year as well and the MBBS students were required to pay the amount at the start of every academic year till the completion of the MBBS degree of four and a half years.

Also Read: Upset with Rs 10 lakh annual bond, Kalpana Chawla Govt medical college students launch signature drive

Upset with the State Government notice regarding Rs 10 lakh annual bond for students pursuing MBBS courses in the Government medical colleges in Haryana, the medicos belonging to Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College (KCGMC) launched a signature campaign. The medicos of Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) also protested against the government’s decision.

Taking cognizance of the issue, although CM Manohar Lal Khattar announced the Government’s decision of junking the Rs 10 lakh annual fee, the bond money got changed into Bond papers. Therefore, now students will have to enter into a bond-cum-loan agreement of the amount with the college and the concerned bank. The state government will finance the bond amount if MBBS and MD pass-out students wish to join government service as a doctor and serve for a specified period of seven years. But candidates who do not want to join government services in Haryana will have to pay the amount themselves.

Clearly, the doctors were upset with the bond service terms for seven years and it was also unclear what would happen if the medicos wished to pursue post-graduation or higher education degrees. So, the upset medicos had organized a peaceful protest against the new bond rules in Haryana.

Black Band Protest

Meanwhile, the situation took a bitter turn when the police officials allegedly fired water canons against the protesting medicos, manhandled them and forcefully dragged them to police station. This made the entire medical fraternity furious and several organizations including Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), Indian Medical Association Medical Students’ Network (IMA-MSN), and several other State RDAs decided to observe black ribbon and black band protest on November 7, 2022.

Doctors across the country are wearing black bands and ribbons to work as a sign of protest and demanding unconditional apology from the police for violence against the doctors. Further the doctors have also demanded that the Health Ministry of Haryana withdraw the bond conditions and take strict action against police for manhandling the medicos.

The State RDAs belonging to Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab have also joined the observance of Black Day at work on November 7, 2022.

Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) has also extended its support to the medicos. Dr. Manish Jangra of FAIMA has already reached the spot and joined the protest of young medicos.

Writing to the Union Health Minister in this regard, FORDA mentioned, “The recent incident of police action on the doctors carrying out a peaceful protest against the fee hike in government medical colleges in Haryana, is barbaric and highly condemnable. The astute asympathy shown by the law authorities in firing water canons and forcefully dragging and manhandling the protesting doctors is yet another blot on the face of medical education system in the State of Haryana and this country.”

“FORDA deprecates this heinous act carried out by the police, on the direction of State Government. An unwarranted fee hike in the form of a despicable bond police followed by police action on innocent doctors who have given their best in all circumstances including the COVID pandemic, shows the apathy and weak memory the government has,” read the letter.

“This incident will not only bring down the morale of doctors in the state in particular and the country in general, but will also widen the gap between the doctors and the government. We request your esteemed office to intervene and revoke any kind of legal action against the doctors and help start a channel for dialogue, so that the issue is understood and resolved at the earliest,” it added.

“As a show of solidarity and unity amongst our fellow colleagues and as a symbol of our denunciation for what has happened, we call for a nationwide observance of a black ribbon protest on the 7th of November, 2022. We wish to kindly apprise your office that we also plan to further intensify our protest, if necessary steps are not taken to remediate the ongoing situation in a positive manner at the earliest,” read the letter by FORDA directed to the Union Health Ministry.

IMA-MSN has also questioned the bond policy and writing to the Chief Minister and Health Minister of Haryana, the association stated, “The aforesaid bond policy introduced by Govt. of Haryana not only questions the merit but also takes away the dream of becoming a doctor from poor economically backward aspirants. There is no doubt in the fact that such policy will not only dilute the quality of medical education but will also hamper the health services in the State.”

Clarifying that IMA-MSN is in full support with the Haryana medicos regarding their “legitimate request”, the association further mentioned, “At the same time IMA MSN HQ condemn the wrongful detainment of peacefully protesting medical students by security forces and demand for an immediate release of medical students at earliest.”

While commenting on the matter, Dr Sarvesh Pandey, the Vice president RDA RML and General Secretary of FORDA told Medical Dialogues, “We condemn the act of atrocity done by Haryana Police towards the doctors who were on silent protest against the inhumane bond which has been forcibly applied by the health ministry of Haryana. This act of violence towards doctors is completely unacceptable and unethical.

“We request the concerned ministry to kindly revert back the bond and tender an unconditional apology from police for violence against the doctors and we also demand strict action to be taken against them,” he added.

Speaking to Medical Dialogues in this regard, Dr Prashant Kumar Singh, the National Convenor of IMA MSN said, “With such a bond policy, there will be no point of studying in the government medical colleges. Many of the medical aspirants belonging to economically backward classes will not be able to afford the medical education and become doctors. So, this is totally unjust.”

Referring to the police action on the protesting medicos, he added, “The medicos were peacefully protesting which is a secured right under the democracy. The Government should have approached the students instead of detaining them and resolve the issue with a proper dialogue and by bringing some amendments to the bond policy.”

“On one side, we honour the COVID warriors and on the other, we drag and detain the same warriors. This is very shameful,” he further mentioned.

“The demand of Haryana Medical Students is absolutely Valid as many meritorious Students won’t be able to pursue medical education due financial instability. IMA MSN HQ along with all the medical Students of India extend its full support to the Medical Students of Haryana against the bond policy,” added Dr. Sakshi Singh, the National General Secretary of IMA-MSN HQs.

NEET UG Counselling 2022 Round 1 Document Verification Cancelled:

Meanwhile, amid the ongoing protests and detainment of medicos, the Haryana Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has cancelled the document verification for round-1 of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) UG counselling 2022, which was scheduled from November 2 to November 6, 2022.

Issuing a notification in this regard, DMER mentioned, “In continuation of this office Public Notice bearing No. UHSR/Acad./ A-III/2022/9524 dated 03.11.2022, document verification schedule of Round-I for admission to MBBS/BDS Courses in Govt./Govt. Aided/Private Medical and Dental Educational Institutes in the State of Haryana, including those under Private /Minority Universities- SGT University, Budhera, Gurugram, Al-Falah University and PDM University, Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar for Academic Session 2022-23 stands cancelled due to administrative reasons.”

“Fresh schedule for document verification will be uploaded shortly. All the candidates are instructed to check Admission Web Portal (www.uhsrugcounselling.com), University website (www.uhsr.ac.in) and SMS/emails regularly for any latest updates,” it added.

Also Read: Haryana removes Rs 10 lakh bond for MBBS admission in Govt medical colleges

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