Hunger strike still on, three doctors unwell

Live Punjab News Service

New Delhi — The condition of three doctors on an indefinite hunger strike here to protest against reservation of seats in educational institutions deteriorated Sunday.

The three are under observation of their colleagues. They along with 15 other doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) began the strike Thursday after the Lok Sabha passed a bill favouring quotas.

“Their condition has started to deteriorate. Since all of us are doctors we have kept them under observation,” said Anil Sharma, a member of the Resident Doctors Association (RDA).

“We do not wish to name them as that would lead to unnecessary media attention. We have carried out certain tests on the three and are monitoring their sugar level and blood pressure,” he added.

“We have not shifted them to a hospital and they are still in the hostel. We have called for a general body meeting, which will decide if these doctors must continue the hunger strike,” Sharma said.

Ten more resident doctors joined the strike Friday and Saturday, taking the number of striking doctors to 25.

The AIIMS administration Friday issued an official statement against any rally or dharna in the hospital campus. “All rallies and protest marches in the campus are banned,” the statement said.

Nearly 8,000 people avail of medical care at AIIMS every day. Of them, 6,000 are treated through outpatient departments.

Health services were affected in May when hundreds of doctors from state-run hospitals here went on a two-week strike to protest New Delhi’s proposal to reserve 27 percent seats in higher educational institutions across India for other backward classes.