Demanding hike in stipend, junior doctors in Visakhapatnam staged a protest at the COVID-19 hospitals in the city. The protest saw the junior doctors wore black badges to work on Friday.
Sharing the plights of post-graduate doctors and interns, Andhra Pradesh Junior Doctors Association (APJUDA) President, Dr Deepchand has alleged that there is an increase of COVID-19 cases among doctors due to the lack of good quality protective gear. Pointing out that the stipend for the past three months has not been released by the Andhra Pradesh state government, the association representatives in Vizag demanded additional incentives for performing duties during the pandemic.
The federation members further urged the authorities to grant a hike in the stipend and enable insurance cover for the junior doctors affected by COVID-19. The APJUDA President mentioned that a representation, stating their demands has been submitted to Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand. Dr Deepchand informed that the District Collector ensured to release the stipend of the last three months. He said that over a thousand junior doctors and medicos in Visakhapatnam offer services at the King George Hospital (KGH), the Govt. ENT Hospital, CHEST Hospital, and other government-run hospitals. The APJUDA President added that f the rest of their demands are not resolved this time, they would boycott duties if deemed necessary.
Meanwhile, the association has also given a representation to the Director of Medical Education (DME) in Vijayawada. The APJUDA, in its representation, said that they are not being paid on par with junior doctors of the neighbouring states like Karnataka and Maharashtra. Stating that they have not been paid their stipend, the junior doctors have also demanded at least a 45% pay raise. They also demanded life insurance for the doctors who lost their lives to the virus. The association mentioned in its representation that a health cover of Rs 1 crore should be given for all health workers.