Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar on Tuesday urged the striking doctors to return to work immediately. If the strike continues, the government will take measures to protect the welfare of the people. He said though the Federation of Government Doctors Association was not recognised by the government, the Health Secretary held talks with its representatives on October 25, assuring them that their demands were under consideration.
He pointed out that the Dynamic Assured Career Progression that guaranteed higher pay and time-bound promotions was implemented only for government doctors. It was unfair to demand and compare it with the pay scale of Central government doctors. They were not allowed to practice in private hospitals or run their own hospitals, whereas government doctors in the State were permitted to take up private practice, he said.
However, the government was considering grant of special pay on the basis of seniority, and for doctors working in tough environment, he added. On their demand to maintain doctor posts in accordance with the number of patients, he said posts should be created as per Medical Council of India norms. The government was looking into the need to create additional posts.
The Minister clarified that the present practice of posting postgraduates to vacant posts in district and taluk government hospitals on priority basis would continue instead of conducting counselling. He said that the government spent ₹1.24 crore of public tax money to create a doctor.
He gave details of the monthly salary of government doctors: first year – ₹80,247, 8th year – ₹97,900, 15th year – ₹1,22,919, 17th year – ₹1,35,365 and 20th year – ₹1,53,027. On Monday, Health Secretary Beela Rajesh wrote to the Director-General of Police seeking police protection to GHs and government medical college hospitals to enable medical officers to render their services to the public without any untoward incident.
The Director of Medical Education in a circular directed all deans of medical colleges and heads of institutions not to allow any unauthorised/unorganised ‘pandal’ on the premises and to evict them if they were put up. They were instructed to lodge complaints with the outpost/nearby police station to prevent any unauthorised gathering or protest against the government.