Talks fail, junior doctors to continue stir in Telangana

The junior doctors protested in various medical colleges and government hospitals, including Gandhi and Osmania medical colleges in Hyderabad.
Junior doctors shout slogans at the Gandhi Hospital on Monday while boycotting outpatient services as part of their statewide strike
Junior doctors shout slogans at the Gandhi Hospital on Monday while boycotting outpatient services as part of their statewide strikePhoto |Sri Loganathan Velmurugan

HYDERABAD: After a series of meetings and deliberations with health authorities, the Telangana Junior doctors Association (T-JUDA) on Monday decided to continue the statewide strike in government medical colleges.

Right from the morning, junior doctors boycotted OP, elective and ward services to exert pressure on the state government to agree to the demands of releasing stipends pending for over two months, a green channel for regular credit of the monthly stipends and an official order stating that the dues would be paid by the 10th of every month.

The junior doctors began the strike by staging protests in various medical colleges and government hospitals, including Gandhi and Osmania medical colleges in Hyderabad. Hundreds of doctors were seen sloganeering and holding placards from around 9 am.

Responding to the protests, Health Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha called the JUDA for discussions in the afternoon. Following the meeting with the health minister, JUDA representatives also met the director of medical education Dr N Vani in the evening.

Late in the day, JUDA released a statement that the strike will continue as the assurances given by the health department were not satisfactory.

According to sources, the health minister informed JUDA that a budget release order has been issued. He reportedly said budget relaxation for stipends for a period of one year (2024-25) had been issued. The JUDA says that the order is an experimental one to address the regularisation of stipends and it could be reviewed periodically and changed if need be.

Further, the minister said that a proposal had been sent for the construction of hostels and roads in the Kakatiya Medical College (KMC) in Warangal and a separate budget for transport facilities had been sanctioned.

Regarding the security concerns of the doctors, the DME was directed to conduct a meeting with the HoD of the home department for the special protection force. The minister also promised the construction of the new building for the Osmania Hospital.

In the meeting later, the DME provided a timeline for all the regular release of the stipends.

The JUDA however said that the strike will continue as no timeline was provided for deployment of security forces and new facilities in the KMC.

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