HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Wednesday asked the protesting junior doctors in the state to call off their strike in view of the overall public health and the existing Covid-19 situation, and advised them to join duties immediately.
The Chief Minister said the government was ready to resolve the issues if the demands of the doctors were genuine. "They can bring those demands to the government and get them solved. But it is not proper to abstain from duties now and then, under the pretext of strike without even understanding the time and situation and causing inconvenience to people time and again," Chandrashekar Rao said during a review meeting on the overall medical situation and vaccination programme with the medical and health officials.
He further added that no one would appreciate the doctors going on strike during the present emergency situation due to Coronavirus.
Following the review, a late evening meeting between representatives of the Telangana Junior Doctors’ Association and the director of medical education Dr K Ramesh Reddy, junior doctors said no assurance on any of their demands was given by the officials. The junior doctors warned that with the officials not willing to provide any assurance on their demands, they had decided to boycott even emergency services from Thursday. On Wednesday, the junior doctors stayed away from all services other than attending to emergencies and treatment of Covid patients.
During the review meeting, the Chief Minister agreed to meet another demand of the junior doctors on ex-gratia amount. The Chief Minister directed the officials concerned to take measures so that the ex-gratia amount being extended as per the guidelines, gets handed over immediately as per the junior doctors' demand. He further instructed officials to provide better facilities to junior doctors and their family members at NIMS.
He also ordered to increase the honorarium paid to the senior residents by 15 per cent, also extending senior residents’ honorarium to the medical students who are engaged in Covid-19 duties after their three years of medical course.
However, on the issue of increase in stipend, the medical and health officials present in the meeting said that junior doctors in Telangana were already getting higher stipend compared to other states.
KTR warns of action, urges docs to end strike
The Telangana municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) minister KT Rama Rao, warning of possible action, called for the junior doctors to end the protest, saying this was not the right time to go on a strike.
"When the entire humanity is going through a crisis, there are other ways to resolve issues if any. The government will discuss the issues with them with an open mind," he said during an inauguration event of 'Project Ashray', a 100-bed Covid facility in Hitec City.
He said the government had already acceded to some of the demands and requests of the protesting junior doctors, and urged the doctors to resume duties. The Telangana Junior Doctors' Association on Wednesday announced that they would escalate the protest in view of non-fulfilment of demands and further boycott emergency services as well....