HYDERABAD: Around 288 senior resident (SR) doctors, who were hired across six major Covid-19 hospitals in Telangana, have not been paid salaries for the last four months.Among them are the SRs of the King Koti District Hospital, who have decided to go on strike from Sunday. The protest comes at a crucial time, when the threat of a second wave of the pandemic is looming, and could impair public health efforts to combat the disease.
In an emotional letter to the hospital’s Superintendent, the doctors said, “The payment of salaries and incentives to SRs and civil assistant surgeons posted at the District Hospital, King Koti, has not been done in spite of repeated requests. We have families to feed, loans to repay and homes to run. Failing in these basics leaves us no choice but to boycott our duties en masse.” (sic)
The King Koti Hospital is one of the two nodal facilities for Covid-19 treatment in Hyderabad; the other being the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS). There are 95 SRs posted at the hospital, 61 at the Osmania General Hospital, 25 at the Mahbubnagar Government Hospital, 41 at the Niloufer Hospital, 45 at the Chest Hospital and 21 at the Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital. All of them have not been paid since they were hired in July to augment the availability of doctors at these facilities.
Meanwhile, the SRs at TIMS boycotted duty on Saturday on a different issue — the State government revoking quarantine leaves despite the Centre making the provision mandatory. In a letter to the TIMS Director, the SRs demanded that quarantine leaves be granted so that they can isolate themselves regularly to reduce the risk of infecting their families. There are 96 Covid patients admitted to the facility.