Telangana junior docs boycott duties even as govt enhances stipend

Hyderabad: Even as the state government announced an enhancement of their stipend by 15 per cent, the Telangana Junior Doctors’ Association (TJUDA) on Tuesday served a notice for boycott of duties if their demands are not met in a week’s time.

Earlier in the day, the government enhanced the stipend of house surgeons, PG degree and diploma MBBS students and super speciality MBBS students who are discharging their duties in teaching hospitals, by 15 per cent.

The salary hike and increase in the stipend differed in range accordingly.

However, TJUDA said that the stipend hike is being implemented from January 2021, while it should have been implemented from January 2020. “We are bound to face a loss of 1 year arrears,” the association said in a statement.

Besides clearance of one year arrears, TJUDA demanded payment of ex-gratia to martyrs in line of duty as assured by the chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao last year.

“It is well noted that the mortality among doctors is way more than the soldiers due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.

The association also demanded COVID-19 treatment for health care workers and their family members at state-run Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS). The TJUDA also demanded immediate payment of a 10 per cent incentive promised by the chief minister to all the healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

The association had earlier threatened to boycott their duties, including medical emergencies, and resort to strike stating similar demands, including enhancement in stipend.

TJUDA president Naveen Reddy had then admitted that striking the work at this hour of the crisis was not appropriate. “But there is no option left for us, as the government has turned a deaf ear to our problems despite repeated reminders,” he had said.