KOCHI: Eighteen junior doctors working as the frontline warriors for containing the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday approached the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the government to disburse salary along with arrears immediately.
The petitioners also sought a directive to ensure service conditions such as designation, salary, duty time, off day/ quarantine, leave, and holidays as granted to other doctors in the service of the state government forthwith. The petition was filed by TS Krishna Priya and others.
According to the petitioners, though the government has fixed a pay of Rs 42,000 to the junior doctors, not a penny has been disbursed to them till date. They are rendering their duty by spending money from their own pockets.
The illegality and discrimination that are being faced by the petitioners are not merely limited to the payment of remuneration. The consolidated payment fixed by the Government is no way in par with what the similarly footed persons receive under the National Health Mission, National Rurla Health Mission, and State service. Despite the fact that the service conditions of the petitioners would be communicated as decided by the Government, till the date no orders have been issued by the state to lay down the service conditions, the petition said. "This causes grave illegality," it said.
The petitioners are employed without any service rules or conditions. In addition to that, no designation has been given to the petitioners. The petitioners have successfully completed their internship which was mandatory before getting registered for working as a Certified Medical Practitioner.
The petitioners are still being called interns and irrespective of the fact that after the awarding of registration, they are doctors qualified to practise medicine, the petition said.