Telangana: Junior doctors threaten strike, demand salary hike

If unfulfilled, the junior doctors would boycott their duties, including medical emergencies, and resort to strike from May 25.

Hyderabad: Even as health systems in Telangana reel under the second wave of COVID-19 infections, junior resident doctors in various government hospitals in the state have threatened to go on strike demanding a 15 per cent hike in their salaries, among others.

A notice to this effect was served by Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) on the state medical and health department on Monday. The association gave the government two weeks’ time to fulfill their demands.

If unfulfilled, the junior doctors would boycott their duties, including medical emergencies, and resort to strike from May 25.

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TJUDA’s demands

Of the four demands is clearance of 15 per cent pay hike for senior resident doctors, junior resident doctors and interns that has been pending from January 2020.

According to TJUDA president Naveen Reddy, the junior resident doctors are being paid a monthly salary of Rs 44,000 in the first year, Rs 46,000 in the second year and Rs 48,000 in the third year of their service in various teaching hospitals in Telangana. 

“As per the contract, we have to get a 15 per cent hike in salary every year. The last time we got the salary hike was in 2019 and it was due for revision in January 2020. Last year, the government agreed to the pay revision and the file was approved at all levels. It has now been pending clearance from chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for the last five months,” Reddy said, as quoted by Hindustan Times.

The TJUDA also demanded immediate payment of a 10 per cent incentive promised by the chief minister to all the healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Another demand put forth by the TJUDA was to give priority in treatment to the healthcare workers and their family members who were affected by COVID-19, despite their selfless service to the patients during the crisis period.

The association also demanded insurance be provided to medical students up to post-graduate, in accordance with an earlier order.

Naveen Reddy admitted that striking the work at this hour of the crisis was not appropriate. “But there is no option left for us, as the government has turned a deaf ear to our problems despite repeated reminders. Anyway, we have not resorted to any lightning strike, but have given a two-week notice to the government. If it has any concern for the people, it can solve our demands in the next two weeks,” Reddy added.

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