With unsettled issues regarding the increase in stipend, members of the AP Junior Doctors Association from King George Hospital (KGH), on Wednesday, met Health Minister, Alla Nani, in Vijayawada. A six agenda framework was formulated and the junior doctors called off the strike after the discussion with the Andhra Pradesh Health Minister.
On the same issue, the resident doctors and junior doctors boycotted their duties last week. There are about 120 resident doctors in Andhra Medical College currently. While they have been drawing a monthly stipend of Rs 44,000, doctors in the other states like Telangana have been receiving a stipend of Rs 80,400 of late. The issue was raked up when a few states started to offer an all-time high of Rs. 1 lakh.
After a meeting with the Health Minister, the junior doctors including Post Graduates and House Surgeons called off the strike. Considering the Covid situation, the medicos decided to join back their duties and have decided to wait for the Government to resolve their issues. According to APJUDA President Dr. Kiran Kumar who met the Minister along with other JUDA members from other districts, the government is not in a situation to increase incentives, however, they have promised to provide ex gratia of Rs 25 lakhs for the doctors who lost their lives due to Covid duty. While the Central Government is giving an ex gratia of Rs 50 lakhs, the state government is to provide Rs 20 lakh. A week back, one of the House Surgeons at KGH died due to Covid-19. The Minister promised to give a cheque of Rs 25 lakh for her family members. “The Health Minister said that the state government is currently not in the situation to provide incentives but promised to provide any help required for the medicos. We have a hike of 15 percent every year which will be in 2022. So we have requested the Minister to give that hike six months before. The request is said to be discussed with Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy”.
Regarding another issue of TDS for the medicos, Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Alla Nani said that they would discuss with the Central Government on the issue. As Telangana has recently taken the decision of deduction of TDS, he is said that they would talk to the Telangana government and follow a similar procedure. “After recent incidents of attacks of medicos by the attendants of the patients treated at government hospitals, the Health Minister promised to provide better security so as to avoid such incidents again. Also, the Government has decided to bear the medical expenses of doctors who get treated for Covid in private hospitals”, Kiran Kumar added.