Junior doctors continue strike in Telangana

Hyderabad: Junior doctors in government-run hospitals across Telangana continued their strike for the second day on Thursday The Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) continued their protests and boycotted even emergency services in government teaching and allied hospitals.

 About 4,000 junior doctors were on strike to press for their demands.

They began the strike on Wednesday with the boycott of Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 elective duties and intensified it on Thursday with the boycott of emergency duties.

 Though Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao accepted some of the demands and assured that the government is ready to consider all their legitimate demands, the striking junior doctors are insisting that the government either issue orders or give them written assurances.

A meeting of TJUDA was on at Osmania Medical College where the leaders were briefing the members on the talks held with Director of Medical Education Ramesh Reddy.

 The meeting will decide the future course of action.

 The striking junior doctors staged protests at various hospitals, demanding that the government immediately accept their demands.

 “Our lives matter” read one of the placards held by protesters.

 TJUDA is demanding 15 per cent hike for junior doctors with retrospective effect from January 2020, ex gratia of Rs 50 lakh for family members of junior doctors who died of Covid-19, allotment of beds in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMZ) for health care workers including junior doctors and their family members for free treatment, and 10 per cent risk allowance.

The chief minister on Wednesday announced a 15 per cent increase in the honorarium for senior resident doctors.

He also extended the enhanced honorarium to the medical students who are engaged in the Covid-19 duties after their three years of MBBS course.

The chief minister also ordered that medical facilities for junior doctors and their family members at NIMS be further strengthened.

Chandrasekhar Rao also appealed to junior doctors to immediately call off the strike and return to the duty. He said going on strike during the pandemic is not proper.

He assured the government is ready to address justified demands of the junior doctors.

“If the junior doctors’ demands are justified, the government has no objection to solve them. 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. Moreover, going on strike under the present emergency situation caused by Corona no one will appreciate, not even the people,” he said.