1,700 Uttarakhand govt doctors threaten mass resignation over pay hike delay
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Uttarakhand that has taken the tally past 19,000, around 1,700 government doctors have threatened to resign en masse on September 8 if their demands for better pay and proper treatment are not met.
The doctors will also start a black band protest from Tuesday to press for their demands.
The Provincial Medical Association leaders have said that they will work wearing a black band for a week till September 7 and resign en masse on September 8 if their demands are not met.
Dr Naresh Napalchyal, president of Provincial Medical Association, the body of doctors associated with the state government said, “We have been working continuously for months now, without caring about our families or personal lives and still, we are not treated with the respect we deserve. Doctors in all other states are being given incentives or pay hikes for working extra hours and here the state government deducts a day’s salary.”
The salary deduction was a reference to the government’s step to deduct a day’s salary from its employees for the chief minister’s relief fund. The step was announced when the Covid-pandemic hit the state but the monthly deductions are still continuing.
Dr Napalchyal added that in January, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had announced that doctors doing their post-graduation and working will be given full salary, but that has not been implemented till now.
“The chief minister had himself announced that doctors who are doing their post-graduation and working will get a full salary, but even after so many months, no government order has been issued in this regard. Despite shift duties, we work 24x7 but we are not treated properly. Regular inspections are conducted by tehsildars or revenue officials on instructions of district magistrates, which give out a message to the public that the doctors are not working properly,” he said.
The doctors said that they are giving a week’s time to the state government to hold talks with them, after which they will either opt for taking voluntary retirement (only those doctors who have already worked for almost 20 years) or go for mass resignation.
Dr. SK Gupta, director of the state medical and health department said that the doctors gave a memorandum with their demands to the director general of health in the state on Monday.
“We will be talking to the doctors and come to a solution. All our staff are responsible and will not take any step which will cause inconvenience to the people of the state during an epidemic,” said Dr. Gupta.