HYDERABAD: The talks between the government and junior doctors association failed yet again on Saturday with both sides unyielding on the demand for a hike in stipend. What added fuel to the raging fire was report of a secretarylevel official threatening the doctor's representatives with violence if they failed to back down.
Emerging from the failed talks, which were conducted in two sessions on Friday evening, junior doctors association member Panimohan alleged that in the middle of the two sessions, a senior official barged in and threatened to break their heads if they did not call off their strike. However, he said they did not recognise the official. He added that the doctors were firm on their stand and will continue to boycott emergency services.
The cabinet subcommittee comprising finance minister A Ramanarayana Reddy, medical education minister Kondru Murali Mohan and major industries minister J Geeta Reddy, formed by the government, met the junior doctors' representatives on Saturday and renewed their appeal to call off the strike.
But the representatives of the doctors were unhappy with the meeting and said that apart from appealing, the ministers did not discuss their demands. Panimohan said that the government only asked them to give some time for the new medical education minister to settle in and understand the nuances. But when they asked the government for a written assurance that they would look into the matter later, the ministers refused to do so. He said that the talks failed as the government is not committed to listen to their demands and provide better infrastructure to teaching hospitals in the state.
He also added that they would seek the support of other employee organisations in the state to intensify their stir.
But from the government side, Geeta Reddy said that the talks failed only because the agitating doctors are adamant on their demand for a hike in stipend, which the government is not in a position to give.