Published: 29th June 2022
Resident doctors in Telangana boycott elective duties; slam gov't for non-payment of stipends
The doctors have submitted requests to the Directorate of Medical Education. They have said that if no response is received, they will boycott emergency duties from July 1
Resident doctors of Telangana have kept their promise of going on strike due to the non-payment of stipends by the Telangana government. According to a representative of the Senior Resident Doctors' Association, 698 senior residents in 29 hospitals under 18 government medical colleges in the state have boycotted elective out-patient duties today.
The doctors claim that they have not received their stipend for many months now. In three of the government medical colleges, namely the Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, Mahabubnagar Government Medical Hospital and the Institute of Mental Health, stipends have not been released since November 2021, when they joined service. In other hospitals, the residents claim that they haven't received stipends for the last three months, since March this year.
"Senior doctors have been working difficult hours with little infrastructure support in government hospitals in the state. In some remote areas, there is no security during night duties. Some hospitals even lack accommodation and other basic facilities. We have submitted multiple representations to the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) and the Ministry of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Telangana. However, our requests have gone unheard. We are suffering financially because the government is falling short in allocating the appropriate budget," says Dr M Rajeev, one of the striking doctors from Osmania General Hospital.
Yesterday, on June 28, the doctors had reached out to the DME once again and had said that if they received no response, they would go ahead with the strike. This morning, after receiving no word on their stipends from the DME, the doctors proceeded with the boycott of elective duties. Some gathered in protest at the Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital in Hyderabad as well. Similar protests were carried out at the Government Medical College and General Hospital in Jagtial and Nagarkurnool, and at Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad.
When EdexLive reached out to the DME yesterday, they said that the stipends are under process and will be released soon. An official from the DME said that they were unaware of the reason for the delay. When asked when the stipends will be relieved, the official said that they did not have a timeline yet. Calls to the DME went unanswered today, June 29. "We have received no support or reassurance from the DME today either. We will continue with the strike tomorrow. And on Friday, July 1, if there is still silence from the DME, we will be forced to boycott emergency activities as well," said the state's junior doctors association.