Stung by the downward revision in monthly emoluments, around 378 contractual doctors in different medical colleges, engaged on a four-year tenure post by the state government, have reportedly threatened to go on a two-day token strike, beginning Monday.
The proposed strike on October 15 and 16 will pinch most the Patna medical college hospital (PMCH), as the countryfs medical regulator - the medical council of India (MCI) - is supposed to inspect the institution on those days.
The strike by the contractual tutors and senior residents has been called to protest the downward revision of wages and recovery of eexcess paymentf by the finance department.
If government sources are to be believed, the finance department had committed an error during pay fixation in pay band II (Rs. 9,300 - Rs. 34,800) of the sixth pay commission when these doctors were recruited in mid-May 2011.
Since their recruitment, these doctors were getting a basic pay of Rs. 20,280 (including grade pay) and with DA and perks, their monthly pay packet came to Rs. 35,000 (approx).
With the finance department now quietly correcting the anomaly, their basic pay, including grade pay, has now been fixed at Rs. 14,700 (approx). As a result, the pay packet has come down by Rs. 10,000 (approx), claimed Dr Rekha Singh, a senior tutor in anatomy department, PMCH.
Worse, the finance department will now recover the excess payment of Rs. 1.30 lakh (approx) made during the intervening period in equal monthly instalment of Rs. 10,000 each. This means that a doctor will now have to make do with a take home of Rs. 12,000 - Rs. 15,000 per month,h claimed Dr Singh.
She further said, that revising the doctorsf salary to Rs. 25,000 (approx) was not only against the principle of natural justice, but was skewed, as the post graduate medicos, whom they teach get a monthly stipend of Rs. 30,000.
How can the medical students get more than the teachers? We will not allow this to happen,h she added.
Dr Pawan Shah, tutor in pathology, PMCH, said that the affected doctors had already petitioned the principal secretary, health, through the principal and were firm on the strike at the PMCH.
Of the 378 tutors and senior residents recruited by the government, 75-odd are posted at the PMCH.