BANGALORE: AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) doctors working on contract basis in the state are left in the lurch without pay for the last six months.
The state government gave a push for the Indian system of medicine by announcing a programme to ensure AYUSH medical service units at all government hospitals in a phased manner. The Union government, in 2010, had initiated the first major step in this regard by announcing 85 per cent grant for setting up AYUSH sections in 65 hospitals in the state.
Under the centrally sponsored programme, the state government had recruited 197 personnel, including 44 doctors and 30 pharmacists with pay scales of Rs 20,000 and Rs 6,000 per month respectively.
An AYUSH doctor told Express, “We are being paid a pittance compared to MBBS doctors. The state government is even ready to pay over Rs 1 lakh for specialist Allopathy doctors. But now our condition has worsened as we have not received our salary for the last six months. The government should immediately release our dues.”
AYUSH doctors have also demanded parity in salaries with medical teaching staff. Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader told Express that he would discuss the issue with AYUSH doctors. “AYUSH doctors in the state are serving under two different programmes, one which is funded by the Union government and the other funded by the state. If the affected doctors come under the state funded scheme then I will take up the issue with the Finance Department and resolve the issue at the earliest,” he said. However, the doctors will have to wait for a little longer if they come under the Centrally sponsored scheme.