HYDERABAD: Junior doctors boycotted elective duties at government teaching hospitals across the state on Saturday.
The Junior Doctors Association (Juda) decided to boycott the elective duties after the failure of talks held with special chief secretary G Sudhir and director of medical education B Vasanthaprasad on Friday.
Junior doctors stayed away from attending not only to out-patients but also to patients staying in wards at all government teaching hospitals in the state including the Osmania General Hospital and Gandhi Hospital here. They, however, attended to emergency services in deference to the appeal made by health minister DL Ravindra Reddy who said the government was open to discussions on issues they raised.
Junior doctors served a strike notice on the government on December 26 demanding acceptance of their demands which include an increase in the stipend, regular payment of stipend, slashing the mandatory rural service from three years to one year, provision of sufficient infrastructure and medicines at all the hospitals.
Before forming the JAC, the junior doctors of KGH, Visakhapatnam and Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada had organised protests. When the government failed to respond, they formed into a JAC and served a strike notice on January 10. The health minister held talks with JUDA on January 11.
The government had agreed to raise the stipend by 15 per cent every two years since 2001 but made it effective from 2009. Junior doctors are demanding a hike in stipend on par with what is being paid to their counterparts in other states.
Speaking to Express, JAC convener MI Abhilash said that though the minister accepted many of the demands, he did not give them any written assurance. He had asked them to meet special chief secretary (health) G Sudhir for further discussions.
Their talks with Sudhir on Friday did not bear fruit and the medicos proceeded with their protest action and boycotted their elective duties. The JAC warned that they would boycott the emergency services too if the government failed to respond to their demands in the next few days.