VISAKHAPATNAM /GUNTUR/KADAPA/KAKINADA: Outpatient, as well as regular medical services, were hit in government hospitals in Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Guntur, Kadapa and Ongole, with doctors going on a strike demanding time-bound promotions, constitution of a pay revision commission (PRC) and others. They said there was no PRC after 2006. However, the doctors attended to emergency medical cases.
Meanwhile, the doctors’ called off the strike following successful talks between the AP Government Doctors’ Association (APGDA) and principal secretary (Health) Poonam Malakondaiah. Malakondaiah assured the agitating doctors of addressing their grievances within 15 to 20 days. “Malkondaiah also assured to resolve the RIMS doctors’ issue in a month’s time,” APGDA general secretary P Shyamsundar said.
As part of the statewide protest on Tuesday, doctors in King George Hospital, VGH, REH, VIMS, Mental Care Hospital, ENT Hospital in Visakhapatnam boycotted duties. Similar protests were also held in Kadapa and Kakinada. The striking doctors opposed the G.O. issued recently to regularise the contract doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
In Visakhapatnam, around 500 doctors, including around 400 clinical doctors in KGH, took part in the strike. According to them, there has been no revision of salaries of doctors since 2006. The salaries of doctors should be revised every 10 years.
A similar strike was organised last year too, but to no avail, they said. “The assistant professors working for the past 16 years have got no promotion. When we went on a strike earlier, the government made a commitment to ensure time-bound promotions and issued a G.O. in 2017 in this respect, but it has never been implemented,” said a pathology department doctor.
Depending on the basic pay, the doctors should get a hike ranging between `10,000 and `15,000. According to them, RIMS doctors get a different treatment. They get promotions quickly as per Medical Council of India norms and, when they are transferred to government hospitals, they occupy higher positions than their seniors.