"Merit should be the determining factor in securing a PG seat and the current NEET-PG should not be scrapped", said the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Resident Doctors Association (RDA) the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) and the United-RDA in a joint statement opposing the NMC Bill in its current form.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday urged the striking doctors to end their protest, saying the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill was in the "interest" of the nation, doctors and patients.
Emergency services at major government hospitals in Delhi, including All India Institutes of Medical Sciences and Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, resumed around Friday midnight, PTI reported.
PGIMER has appealed to the faculty members to remain present on duty as almost 1,200 resident doctors would be observing strike.
"We will not hesitate to escalate by shutting down even our Emergency and ICU services if expedited measures are not taken", he said. "Patients are being treated by resident doctors here", said former Resident Doctor Association President, AIIMS, Dr Vijay Gujjar.
Section 15 (1) of the bill proposes a common final-year MBBS exam, the National Exit Test (NEXT), before an individual starts practising medicine and for seeking admission to post-graduate medical courses and for enrolment in the State Register or the National Register.
Demonstrations and hunger strikes were held in several locations across the country against the Bill which the medical community has termed "pro-rich" and 'against the medical profession.
The protest has entered in its third day consecutively, as a result of which, Ministry of Health has directed these doctors to steer off their action.
The doctors have been boycotting work and demonstrating over certain provisions of the Bill since Thursday. The medical fraternity, on the other hand, has described the Bill as "anti-poor, anti-student and undemocratic", expressing several reservations and objections on the Bill. There's also a disagreement over the concept of Community Health Providers (CHP) included in the Bill.
According to the protesting doctors, the Bill empowers the central government to override any suggestion of the NMC, and will lead to deterioration of medical education and degradation of healthcare services. "The provisions of the said bill are nothing short of draconian and promote gross incompetence and mockery of the professionals now working day and night", the joint statement said.
Dr Thakur said they had delayed the strike till the Bill was placed in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill will decrease the representation of elected members from 75 per cent in MCI to 20 per cent in NMC.