Special Correspondent

Protest against the Centre's decision to introduce quota

OPD services almost thrown out of gear, though very urgent cases were attended toDoctors sore that no Central official visited the striking studentsMedicos want expert panel to review the proposed hike

PONDICHERRY: An estimated 300 resident doctors of JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical College and Research) in Pondicherry went on a 48-hour-long strike on Tuesday to register their protest against the Centre's decision to introduce quota of 27 per cent in higher educational institutions for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The doctors also went on fast even as they were observing the strike.

Memo submitted

A spokesman of the Association of Resident Doctors told The Hindu that a detailed memorandum had been submitted to the authorities appealing to the Central Government to have a practical look at the issue.

The services at the Out Patient Department were almost thrown out of gear although very urgent cases were taken care of. An official source in JIPMER said that the patients coming for routine treatment were asked to come on Thursday.

One could see the patients turning up on a routine basis at the OPD proceeding to the general hospital of the Pondicherry Government in the town.

Emergency and casualty wings and also the Intensive Care unit were however functioning as usual.

Resident doctors resorted to the strike after feeling the pulse of the members of the Association `through a secret ballot system.'

The doctors were sore that none from the Central Government visited the striking students to hear their grievances for more than a week, especially after the unleashing of `brutality' by the police.

The Government should review the entire proposed hike in quota through an expert panel and not by a Group of Ministers to ensure social equality.

Blood donation

In order to demonstrate that they are not inclined to cause hardship to the patients turning the resident doctors and students donated blood at the Blood Bank in the institute.

A spokesman of the Resident Doctors Association told The Hindu that around 100 doctors and students donated blood even as the strike was on.

A patient from Sankarapuram told The Hindu at the hospital that he was not aware of the strike by doctors.