Sixteen patients have died at King George's Medical University (KGMU) here since Tuesday after junior resident doctors went on strike in protest against revising the criteria for admission to post-graduate courses, sources said on Thursday. More than 2000 patients have been turned away by KGMU because of a shortage of doctors and only very critical patients were seen by senior doctors, sources said. Two dozen surgeries scheduled for Wednesday had to be postponed, they said. The junior resident doctors and MBBS graduates at KGMU are agitated over Uttar Pradesh government's decision to cancel their admissions, made in April, to MD/MS/diploma courses and make fresh admissions by revising the merit list of the UP Postgraduate Medical Entrance Exam. Those given admission in April had already started working from May 1 as junior resident doctors. Some of them stand to lose their seats by the government decision which is based on an interim order of the Supreme Court that said up to 30 per cent of additional marks weightage be given to the doctors who have served in rural areas. The interim order of the top court, which affects over 300 MBBS graduates, came on May 12. The government then cancelled the old merit list and admissions and published a revised merit list on May 27 based on the new criteria. The strikers and protesters have stalled admissions through the revised merit list, demanding that the state government must wait for the hearing of their review petition by the Supreme Court. Those who are set to benefit from the revised merit list, on the other hand, have blamed the government for not providing them adequate security and allowing the disruption in the conduct of admissions. Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Wednesday requested the striking doctors to come back to work on humanitarian grounds and had also asked the state government to break the impasse. MBBS graduates who join post graduate courses like MD, MS and MDS are known as 'junior resident doctors'.