SAMBALPUR/ROURKELA: Homoeopathy students of Sambalpur and Rourkela staged protest on Thursday demanding creation of medical officer posts for Ayush doctors. In Sambalpur, students of Odisha Medical College of Homoeopathy and Research locked the institution’s gate and staged dharna over the demand. Students of Utkalmani Homoeopathy Medical College and Hospital at Rourkela also locked the academic block in support of the demands of All Odisha AYUSH Students’ Association (AOASA) which included creation of 500 each posts of homoeopathic medical officer (HMO) and ayurvedic medical officer (AMO) this year.
The agitating students further demanded the subsequent creation of 100 each posts of HMO and AMO every year till the fulfilment of the guidelines of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) and the setting up of new dispensaries. Besides, they sought an increase in the number of post-graduation seats in homoeopathy and ayurveda.
AOASA vice-president Ashish Mohapatra said since 2002, not a single new post has been created. “As per NAM guidelines, there should be one AYUSH doctor per 5,000 population. But Odisha has one doctor for 35,000 population.”
Mohapatra further said during the Covid-19 pandemic, the government took contractual services of AYUSH doctors as it was in desperate need of manpower. Now, the AYUSH doctors are left idle. Every year, 300-400 doctors pass out of the seven AYUSH medical colleges and hospitals in Odisha. But the new doctors have no future.
Principal of Odisha Medical College of Homoeopathy and Research, Sambalpur Diptikanta Singh said, “We have already apprised the government of the demands of students. The government will take a decision in this regard.”Sources said treatment of patients in the hospitals was not affected due to the students’ strike.