NEET counselling for PG courses cancelled in UP medical colleges

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Counselling to all postgraduate (PG) medical seats done in the first and second round for state medical colleges has been cancelled following several pending court cases. The counselling scheduled to be held on May 31 has also been postponed until further orders from the central ministry of health and family welfare.

In a letter to the principal secretary of the state, the central ministry has informed that counselling that was currently underway and was being conducted by UPDGME (Uttar Pradesh Directorate General of Medical Education) has been cancelled. This also include PG medical seats in JN Medical College (JNMC) of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) of Banaras Hindu university (BHU) amongst other state run medical colleges.

Signed by KK Krishanan, under secretary to the government of India, the letter states, “Due to uncertain condition and several cases pending in high court and Supreme Court, cancel all counselling done by UPDGME including first and second round and postpone counselling scheduled to be held on May 31 till further orders.”

LG Kiran Bedi pushes for admissions to PG medical course via govt quota

Bedi said that 71 seats have been identified to be still available in the colleges under the government quota.

Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today ordered that the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC) conduct counselling for selection of students under state government quota in the post graduate courses for medical colleges in Puducherry for academic session beginning 2017.

At the end of her surprise inspection of the process of selection at CENTAC office located on the premises of the Pondicherry Engineering College (PEC) today, she said it had the mandate to hold counselling and admit students in the colleges on 50 per cent of total seats under the state government quota.

The committee should ensure that this was complied with “in letter and spirit”, she said in a release.

Bedi said counselling, if any, conducted diverting the government quota seats either to all India quota or the quota of managements of the colleges “should be rescinded and the government quota seats should be restored by further counselling on merits tomorrow”.

She said it should be ensured that the students meet the date line of admission tomorrow.

She also said that 71 seats have been identified to be still available in the colleges under the government quota.

“Now these seats are being returned to students of Puducherry,” she said and added, “This is the result of surprise inspection (she had) at the CENTAC office and also after listening to the representations of the students.”

The surprise inspection by the LG was compelled in view of “repeated complaints” from students who have been coming to Raj Nivas during the open house programme.

Following her direction, the convenor of CENTAC, Dr V Govindaraj, announced through a press communication that any eligible NEET candidate can attend counselling tomorrow (May 31) with complete set of documents and the counselling would be between 9 AM and 1 PM.

The convenor said that 71 seats are still available under the government quota in the PG stream of medical education for students.

4 infants die in an hour in Maharashtra hospital, MNS beats up doc

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Four premature babies, who were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit of a government- run hospital at Amravati in Maharashtra, died in the early hours on Monday.

The parents of the children alleged negligence, after which some activists of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena beat up one of the doctors, the police said.

The four infants – two male and two female – born prematurely in the last one week were kept in incubators in the ICU of Punjabrao Deshmukh Medical College Hospital, Amravati district collector Abhijeet Bangar said.

Kailas Pundkar, senior inspector of Gagadenagar police station, said, “One baby died due to asphyxia and the body was handed over to the parents. The cause of deaths of other three babies is yet to be ascertained as autopsies are underway.”

Medical education minister Girish Mahajan has ordered inquiry by Amravati civil surgeon, Bangar told PTI.

According to hospital sources, the deaths took place between 1am and 1.30am. As the news spread in the morning, activists of MNS beat up Bhushan Katta, one of the doctors on duty, the police said.

Four infants die in hospital incubator

Four newborn babies died after an alleged short circuit sparked a fire in the incubators where they had been kept at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Panjabrao Deshmukh Hospital in Amravati on Sunday morning. The local police registered an FIR against the trust-run hospital on Monday evening on the basis of complaints from parents and will establish  the role of culprits, if any, whose negligence led to the deaths. The babies, who were five-days-old and suffering from premature birth-related disorders, were kept under observation in separate incubators before the tragedy struck, the police said.

After the deaths, the babies’ parents created a ruckus in the hospital and refused to accept their bodies. The hospital authorities, however, denied that a short circuit had occurred.

The parents found that something was amiss after observing no movement in their babies and the fact that their skin had reddened. The families have alleged negligence on the part of the hospital.  Angry family members and local MNS workers also roughed up a resident doctor who was on duty.

Superintendent of police Shashikant Satav said a complaint had been filed against the hospital administration.

D.S. Jane, dean of the hospital, said, “The exact cause of death is yet to be ascertained. We have formed a committee and action will be taken against the staff if found guilty.”

Patient’s relative alleges negligence, damage property

The Kasturba police arrested four persons on Monday for thrashing a doctor and ransacking and damaging the property of civic-run Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli.

According to the Kasturba police, the incident took place on Sunday afternoon.

The arrested, identified as Omkar Jangam, Rajesh Ghadiyal, Krishna Chikimaal and Nikhil Manjrekar, have been charged of assault and criminal intimidation, the police said.

Omkar, the relative of Shankar Jangam, claimed that the hospital delayed in giving him treatment. However, the hospital authorities denied his claims.

The injured doctor, Dr Ketan Parihar (35), is undergoing treatment at Bhagwati Hospital after the patient’s relatives beat him up. His condition is said to be stable.

The police said Omkar bought Shankar, who was suffering from high fever, to the hospital late on Sunday. He got into a verbal feud with the doctors on duty after they informed him that there was delay in bringing in the patient.

“After the doctors realised that Omkar was under the influence of alcohol they asked him to leave. He left the hospital however returned with his friends after midnight. The accused then beat up Dr Ketan one of the doctors on duty,” said Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Thakur of Kasturba police station.

“The four damaged the hospital property and took Shankar with them,” Thakur added.

The police approached first Shankar and after questioning him arrested Omkar who later revealed the names of his friends.

Dr Sudhir Vyas, chief medical officer, Shatabadi Hospital, said, “Shankar was suffering from fever and was brought to the casualty department. He was admitted to the general ward at 12.40 am on Monday. However, at around 1 am, I heard commotion in the ward and saw the patient’s relatives beating up the resident doctor.”

Dr Mahendra Wadiwalla, medical superintendent, Bhagwati Hospital, said, “There is an injury below his [Dr Ketan] left eye. So we are keeping him under observation for now. But his condition is stable.”

Puducherry PG medical aspirants left in the lurch

Candidates who have been denied admission to the medical institutions in Puducherry rued that the government-managed Centralised Admission Committee (Centac) has failed to regulate PG admissions in self-financed colleges and deemed universities.

On the day of mop up counselling on Monday, self-financing institutions continued to reject the demand drafts by candidates who went by the fee structure announced by the fee committee.

While 78 candidates chose seats under the government quota in self-financing colleges and deemed universities, the Centac failed to reveal how many candidates have got admission to the colleges.

All the self-financing colleges had refused to accept the demand draft of candidates who had paid the fees announced by the fee committee.

On the other hand, a few medical institutions had gone ahead and cancelled the seats selected through Centac counselling under management quota and listed the seats as vacant for the third counselling. At the Centac office, a candidate had come with all the documents to meet the officials to question why her seat was cancelled by the medical institution.

On condition of anonymity, the candidate said that through Centac counselling she had selected a seat under management quota and even submitted the demand draft for ₹14 lakh as mandated by the fee committee.

“They are demanding ₹50 lakh fee for admission. The medical institution I chose has cancelled the seat and listed it as vacant in the third round of counselling,” said the candidate. Three other candidates who had secured seats in deemed universities under State quota were denied seats despite paying ₹33 lakh fees.

Passing the buck

A senior Centac official said that it was not their responsibility to ensure admission in the colleges.

“Our duty is to show the seat matrix and conduct counselling.

“It is the responsibility of the government to ensure admission. We have orally informed the government that we cannot conduct counselling without the issues related to fee fixation being resolved,” he said.

However, he did not respond when asked why the mop-up counselling was conducted in such circumstances.

Centac Convenor Govindarajan added that the seats taken under government quota would not be shown as vacant till the issue was resolved.

Centac was formed in 2004 for admission of candidates through a joint entrance test (JET) to professional colleges in the Union Territory.

Meanwhile, the government continued to drag its feet and looked the other way in resolving the fee structure of postgraduate medical and dental courses even as Tuesday is the last date of admission.

Puducherry UT All CENTAC Students Parents Association President M. Narayanassamy said that instead of thwarting attempts by self-financing colleges who continue to take a divergent stand, Centac had surrendered to them and the government had failed to rein in the colleges.

He added that Centac had held two phases of counselling so far.

“Seats have been allotted to students in both government quota as well as management quota. Students who were allotted seats, when they approached the respective colleges, were denied admission citing different reasons and the government is still holding talks with these private medical colleges and deemed universities and a solution to this issue has not been reached so far,” he said.

Third round counselling

He added that at this juncture Centac authorities were holding the third counselling on May 30. Besides, the vacancy list has not been released on the Centac website for government quota seats.

The association demanded that Centac should immediately announce the number of allotment orders issued by it in government and management quota seats in counselling held so far.

The seats of the students who have submitted demand drafts should be left vacant irrespective of their joining the colleges and counselling should be held only for the seats for which demand draft had not been given.

Govt considering to introduce helicopter-based ‘Air Clinics’ for North-East Region

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The union government is considering a proposal to introduce “Air Clinics” with helicopter-based outdoor facility for a large section of population which has no access to health centre or medical clinician, according to Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER); Minister of State, PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space.

Presiding over a Conclave of Health Ministers from all the eight North-Eastern States in Guwahati on Tuesday, Dr Jitendra Singh referred to a suggestion which originated after discussion with the Government of Manipur, and said, the concept of having “Air Clinics” with helicopter-based outdoor facility has been mooted with both the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Civil Aviation. “If successful, this could be a boon for a large section of population which has no access to health centre or medical clinician,” he said.

Addressing the meeting, which was also attended by representatives from Adayar Cancer Institute, Chennai; Patanjali; and Yog Sansthan, Bengaluru, the minister also proposed PPP (Public-Private Participation) model to supplement and extend healthcare services up to district level in the eight states of the North-Eastern Region (NER).

Speaking about the last three years of health related initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that Dr Barooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati has been affiliated with the Tata Memorial Cancer Centre, Mumbai under the aegis of the Department of Atomic Energy, as a result of which, the faculty and the supplementary teaching cum clinical services will get upgraded. From last year, he said, super-specialty MCh course in Cancer Surgery has already started and hopefully from this session, super-specialty DM Cancer Medicine will also start.

The minister also acknowledged the collaboration from Adayar Cancer Institute, Chennai in imparting a six-month training to one physician and one surgeon each from each of the eight North-Eastern States, so that they can go back and offer better healthcare in their respective states, considering the high prevalence of cancer in the region.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, “The Ministry of DoNER, with the consensus of all the state governments, will go forward in inviting the interested private healthcare partners from other parts of the country, so that depending upon their capacity and capability, they may be able to supplement the health services in the region. The impetus to healthcare services will be wholesome and holistic, thus also imbibing all the alternative systems of medicine and in this regard, the leading players like Patanjali could have a significant contribution to make.”

Referring to a proposal from the Assam Government for setting up a modern Cancer Hospital with the collaboration of the Ministry of DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “The officers in the DoNER Ministry are engaged in deliberations with the state health secretariat officers to work out its feasibility and viability.”

In the field of tele-medicine also, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “The Ministry of DoNER will try to facilitate support and help from the private sector so that the people living in the remotest areas of the difficult terrain are not deprived of the benefit of specialized medical consultation.”

Dr Jitendra Singh also disclosed that a number of private corporate sector hospital chains are coming forward to venture in the Northeast. The minister further said that he would seek the help of the Ministry of Health and other related Ministries to consider these cases on the principle of mutual benefit.

Thrissur medical student recounts her ghastly tale

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Guest article by Christina Elsa Sunny

Hi friends, I am Christina ,31st mbbs batch, currently doing House-Surgeonship in Government medical college, Thrissur.
I am here to disclose what I have experienced on the night of 19 may 2017, that I consider is worthwhile to share.
After completing mbbs course, the authorities have allocated an accommodation on the fourth floor of medical college for all the house surgeons, which includes a mess facility also. Most of us have been utilising the accommodation facility provided by them. Me and my nine friends were staying in this room for the last ten months.
In the premises of this quarters, we have spotted strangers around so many times. Quite unfortunate to say that there is no security provided for all of us and it is an easy access for the strangers to be here by their own or by any other means. There have been many incidents reported in the past of unauthorized access to the ladies rooms and even the attempts of burglary . Even though we have notified of such mishaps, the authorities tended to cast a dubious eye upon us .
Like every other incidents happened around , I paid no extra attention on such matters like most of us. I was much occupied with my duties and my passion to render service to the society.
As I have mentioned earlier, on the night of 19 may 2017,something happened that did shatter my perceptions and my attitude towards the society. We were in deep sleep on that night in our room and my friend got a phone call from casualty and she had to go out immediately.I regret to say that we couldnt lock the room from inside as we were in deep sleep.
On that night, in the midst of my sleep , I felt like something was crawling on to my body and that woke me up suddenly. In the semi darkness, I have seen a hazy figure aged nearly 20 in his shorts about the foot-end of my bed. I screamed my hell out,my friends woke up and came for my rescue. The intruder romped out before we could identify his face. As terrified as it could be , my friends rang our collegiates and some of the boys set forth a quick search in the ‘dark’ corridor and the premises. They could’nt find anyone out there.
The day after , we filed a complaint to our superintendent . They inspected the room and guaranteed as of Some safety measures ‘as usual’. From our side, we the lady house surgeons, planned for a quick protest that we hoped could be an eye opener for the authorities.On the contrary to my expectations, I came to know that even among the girls,we were so divided in protesting against such a serious incident, and some of us are not even aware of the fact that we demand an immediate action for the sake of all the lady housesurgeons and the batches to come by.
Iam not scribbling all these for your support , shares, or your precious likes. it’s only for the sake of my own conscience . WE ARE TOTALLY UNSAFE HERE. We only awake ourselves up when a JISHA OR DELHI INCIDENT happen among us..

Dedicated to all my lady colleagues and juniors..

Why I miss the good old GP who kept it simple

Guest article by Ruskin Bond

Customs change with the changing times, but not always for the better.

I do miss the old GP, the family doctor, who would turn up at your house at short notice. You had only to give him a ring or send him a message saying you or one of your loved ones was down with the flu or mumps or some mysterious fever, and he’d be around in a jiffy. Years of experience enabled him to make a quick and usually accurate diagnosis and he’d write out a prescription on the spot. If he thought it was something very serious he’d direct you to the nearest hospital. If he was a good doctor, his very presence would make you feel better. He’d put his stethoscope to your chest, feel your pulse, look at your tongue, prod your tummy, and make you breathe deeply and say ‘Aaah!’ You took his pills religiously, and sooner or later you felt better.

Such doctors are a dying breed. Today, young doctors open smart clinics or join city hospitals, and if you want to see them you must stand in line with dozens of other patients. In spite of all the advances of medical science, sick people multiply by the day and our cities are flooded with nursing homes and diagnostic centres. Strange that in this age of scientific and medical wonders, the world should be sicker than ever.

Diabetes, impotency, heart disease, cancer and various viral infections ensure that our medical services are overstretched. Gone are the days when a worried parent would say ‘Send for the doctor’. Now it’s ‘Go to the doctor’ or ‘Send for an ambulance’. No one is likely to come and sit by your bedside.

So I miss those doctors, now retired or long gone, who would do just that. There was Dr Jwala Prasad, for instance, a dear man who smoked quite heavily, and who owned one of the three or four cars that plied on the Mussoorie roads back in the 1960s and ‘70s. He was famous for his phrase “Nothing to worry about.” No matter how ill you were, in pain or racked with a fever, he’d pat you on the shoulder and say, “Nothing to worry about. You’re going to be fine!”

And it actually helped! Such is the psychology of illness or wellness.

Another friendly neighbourhood doctor who I miss is Dr Bisht. I had only to ring him up, to tell him I was in dire straits, and ten minutes later I would hear the splutter of his old scooter as it drew up below my steps. “Pulse is a bit fast today,” he’d say, after a brief examination. “It’s the blood pressure again. Don’t tell me you have fallen in love again?”

“What’s that got to do with it, doctor?”

“Falling in love always raises the blood pressure.”

In his infinite wisdom he’d hit the nail on the head — or the lover on his aching heart. The remedy? A long walk in the woods. “Keep walking. That will do the trick.” His theory was that a little exercise was the best remedy for most ailments.

Well, the good doctor has long since retired, but the other day I met him when he was enjoying an outing with his grandchildren, and I could see that he was most anxious to do something for my well-being. At eighty, I do still occasionally fall in love, but on this occasion I had nothing to complain of — no dizziness, no irregular heartbeat, no melancholia or other symptoms of the love-sick — just a seasonal cold. So I told him I had a cold.”

“Take plenty of vitamin C,” he advised. “And drink lots of water.” Well, I have been taking Vitamin C for a week, and I am looking like a lemon, and passed a lot of water, but a cold is a cold and it will go in its own good time.

I haven’t been so lucky with dentists. As a small boy I had protruding teeth, so my mother took me to Dr Kapadia in Dehradun, a famous dentist in his time. But a painful prod from one of his instruments resulted in my screaming and kicking him on the shin.
“Take this boy away,” he told my mother. “Don’t bring him here again.” With the result that I still have protruding front teeth.

But it’s better than having dentures. I have an elderly actor friend who was given the role of Count Dracula in one of those vampire films which are all the fashion these days. The trouble is, he wears dentures, false teeth, and when he grins or grimaces he doesn’t look at all like a vampire.

“You’ll never get those teeth into a beautiful neck,” I told him. “We’ll have to do something about them.”

So I took him to one of those street dentists who ply their trade on the outskirts of our pilgrim towns. He took out his file and sharpened my friend’s false incisors until they glittered. Our hero looked like a real vampire with the sharpened incisors. But he didn’t get the part. On taking the heroine into his arms and attempting to plunge his teeth into her beautiful neck, his dentures shot out and he was left toothless.

As Donald Trump would say: Sad.

Court dismisses plea on PG medical seats

Constitutional provision not applicable to management quota

A vacation bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Saturday made it clear that Article 371-D of the Constitution of India is not applicable to the Post Graduate medical and dental management quota seats in private non-minority medical and dental colleges in both AP and Telangana States.

The bench of Justice A Rajasheker Reddy and Justice T Rajani was dismissing petitions filed separately by Priyanka and 18 others of AP State and M Arun Kumar and six others of Telangana State seeking directions not to fill up the management quota (sub-category-1) seats from the candidates who are not belonging to the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh and erstwhile state of Telangana, respectively, for the academic year 2017-18.

The petitioners sought the court to declare that the management quota (sub-category – 1) seats are available only to the candidates belonging to the erstwhile state of AP and erstwhile state of Telangana. They further sought directions that the admissions to the PG medical degree/diploma courses to be made only from among the candidates who are eligible under NEET from among the candidates belonging to both the states. As per the Presidential Order, these seats have to be filled up with the candidates of the respective two states and not from the candidates from all over India, they contended. After hearing the case and perusing the material on record and court judgments, the bench took into consideration of the earlier judgment of this High Court which said that “the issue of management quota seats do not come under the purview of Article 371-D and that the eligible candidates from all over India are eligible for these seats”, and dismissed the above petitions.

Bihar scraps counselling for PG medical seats, blames quota rules violation


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The Bihar government, on Friday, admitted that it had violated reservation rules in filling up post-graduate medical seats, and announced its decision to scrap the entire ongoing counselling process.

Announcing the government decision, principal secretary, health, R K Mahajan said, fresh counselling would be conducted on May 28 and 29, so as to complete the admission process by May 31, which was the Supreme Court prescribed deadline for PG admissions.

The Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (BCECEB) will now re-convene counselling for 449 PG seats on offer in six government-run medical colleges of the state, affecting nearly 850 students vying for these seats.

The seats are at the Patna Medical College Hospital, Nalanda Medical College Hospital (both in Patna), Darbhanga Medical College Hospital (Darbhanga), Anugraha Narayan Magadh Medical College Hospital (Gaya), Jawaharal Nehru Medical College and the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (Muzaffarpur).

Of the 449 PG seats on offer, 350 are degree and 99 diploma seats, said Mahajan. He said these also included 136 degree and 32 diploma seats, which were vacant under the central government quota and reverted to the state.

Asked if the government would take action against officials responsible for the lapse, he said,  “We will initiate an inquiry before taking any action.”

Asked if there was a hint of a scam in the matter at hand, Mahajan said, “The problem arose because of wrong interpretation of rules. There is no scam as such.”

He said combined counselling would be done for medicos this time, as against the previous practice of holding it separately in a phase-wise manner for general and reserved category students.

He said students of the reserved category, who compete on merit, would be given the option to exercise their choice of opting for merit or reserved seat only once. “Having exercised their choice once, students of the reserved category will not be able to change it,” he added.

Earlier, students of reserved category, who qualified on merit, used to take up general seats and then re-appear in counselling for reserved category medicos. Having got admission in an institution of choice, the general seat, which they subsequently vacated, was then filled up by a candidate under reserved category, thus whittling down the number of seats available to medicos under general category.

It was this arrangement, which the medicos were opposing when they were caned during counselling in front of the BCECEB office here last Tuesday.

Mahajan said the government would transfer the admission fee in case there was any change of college in fresh counselling.

Additional secretary, health, Pradeep Kumar Jha, was also present during the media interface.

In-service govt doctors bag all PG seats in Tamil Nadu


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Apprehensions about PG medical admissions and boycott of work to demand a better deal notwithstanding, in-service government doctors have this year appropriated almost all postgraduate seats in government colleges, even without a high score in NEET-PG.

A provisional merit list released by the state selection committee for postgraduate degree and diploma seats in government colleges, government quota in self-financing colleges and Raja Muthiah Medical College, only 25 of 4,294 candidates are from the non-service-category. In the first phase of counselling, 709 government doctors were allotted seats, versus 13 from the non-service-category.

“This was expected and we had little time to do anything about it. We were forced to follow the high court order,” selection committee secretary G Selvaraju said.

On April 17, a single judge of the Madras high court ruled that Tamil Nadu must follow the latest MCI regulations in awarding of incentive marks to in-service candidates. As against a maximum of 10 marks under state rules, the MCI regulation envisaged a maximum of 30% of marks scored by a candidate in the NEET-PG examination as service incentive. Government doctors perceived it as a setback, filed appeals and went on strike. After a division bench delivered a split verdict, the third judge upheld the MCI rules, paving the way for award of 30% of NEET-PG score as incentive for canddiates. It ushered in a single rank list scheme and did away with reserving 50% of available seats in the government quota for inservice candidates.
As a result, this year, almost all PG medical seats on offer have been bagged by service candidates. For instance, the first non-service candidate to get a seat was Dr Mohamed Thariq S, who scored 1,109 in NEET-PG. He was called after 514 government doctors, many of whom scored less than him but bagged seats in the prestigious Madras Medical College (MMC). Another candidate, Dr Srinivasan M, with 1,102 in NEETPG, ranked fourth in the state after the state added 330.74 marks (30% of his NEET score) for three years of service in government hospitals. He was allotted MD (radio diagnosis) seat in MMC.

Health department officials agree that this is not a fair way to conduct counselling. “We are framing rules for impartial incentives. A committee comprising of various bodies of doctors and the government are in the panel to ensure fair play . It will be introduced from the next academic year,” health secretary J Radhakrishnan said.

NEET shock as Government docs corner 98% of PG seats

Thirteen out of 722 seats, or a meagre 1.8 per cent. That is all toppers of NEET-PG examination among the non-service doctors (who are not serving in government hospitals) managed to get during the first phase of counselling for postgraduate seats in Tamil Nadu that was held earlier this month.
The ongoing second phase is slightly better. On Thursday, day two of counselling in this phase, 38 private candidates obtained seats against 308 government service doctors though much of them were allegedly accommodated in PG diploma and non-clinical courses and not in the more-in-demand clinical masters degree courses.

The government’s manoeuvre to escape the wrath of the government doctors agitating against the Madras High Court order abolishing 50 per cent reservation for them in government quota PG seats has hit the prospects of high-performing private sector candidates, including even the SC communities, who failed to get even a diploma seat.

After the court ruled against reservation for in-service doctors but permitted it to allot incentives to those serving in areas identified as remote or hilly, the State government notified most of the rural areas as remote/hilly, allege private candidates.

This had a big impact on the ongoing counselling as all government service doctors posted at PHCs and other hospitals in these areas stood to gain 10 marks for each year they served.

This changed the rank list, which, the other side alleges, is akin to rigging and gerrymandering. According to them, there could be less than 100 service doctors who work in areas that are actually remote or hilly.

S Prakash, a Scheduled Caste category candidate from Madurai, is one such disappointed professional. Having scored 884.6666 marks in NEET-PG, he stood 242 in the State in the all-India rank list, a mark good enough to get him a non-clinical masters degree seat under the all-India quota in a medical college in Mumbai. But he decided against it, expecting that he would get a clinical degree seat in the State quota in his native.

“But after calculating the incentive awarded to service doctors, my rank dropped to 383, not enough for even a diploma seat. I’ve lost hopes of pursuing masters,” said the dejected young doctor, who had come to attend the second phase of counselling at the Government Multi-Super-Speciality Hospital on Friday.

Another heartbroken aspirant was K Anbarasan, who was originally at 253rd rank in the State, which, however, went down to 415 after the service doctors below him on the list were given the incentive. But not all doctors stop with blaming their fate to have written the test in the wrong year. A few of them have approached the Madras High Court.

“We need to know how the powers given to the State government to notify remote and hilly areas have turned in favour of service doctors,” said N Karthikeyan, one of the petitioners.

However, as Express had reported, the State health department has been struggling with shortage of specialists at taluk and district headquarters hospitals due to non-service candidates selected under government quota violating the mandatory two-year service bond.

This year’s fact sheet

Clinical degrees
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
General medicine
Psychiatric medicine and others

Non-clinical degrees
Anatomy; Biochemistry; Community medicine; Microbiology; Pathology; Pharmacology; Physiology; Forensic medicine

In all, 13 non-service doctors secured seats in the first phase of counselling:
2 secured diploma seats
3 secured non-clinical masters degree
8 secured clinical masters degree

Last year: Total: 1,235; Non-service: 381 (30.8 per cent)