Over 4,000 government doctors in Karnataka will resign on Tuesday protesting a "meagre" hike in salaries but treatment of patients will not be affected as they have given two weeks' time to authorities to accept their demand.
"We are resigning en masse on Tuesday. We will wait till Oct 14 for the government to either concede our demands for better pay or accept our resignation," HN Ravindra, president of the Karnataka Government Medical Officers Association, told IANS Monday.
The association members are seeking a monthly pay of Rs 35,000 -- nearly double the present pay of Rs 18,500.
The government has offered a Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 hike.
Rejecting the offer, Ravindra said it was "meagre".
"If the government does not accept our demand or our resignation, we will relieve ourselves on October 15," he said.
The association has rejected Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa's appeal to accept the offered increase and not to go for any protest action.
Home Minister VS Acharya, himself a doctor, while conceding that the increase was not up to the expectation of the doctors, has said this was the best the government could offer in view of the economic slowdown and its impact on government's financial position.
Ravindra said there was gross disparity in the pay scales of doctors and teaching faculty in medical colleges. "A lecturer gets Rs 44, 000 per month whereas we get only Rs 18,500," he added.
He said because of low pay for government doctors, over 2,000 posts of doctors are lying vacant in the state.