Published: 26th October 2022
Andhra Pradesh: Junior doctors demanding stipend hike call off strike, but to negotiate with officials soon
The notice of strike was issued on October 17, and on October 21, the government came up with an order increasing the stipend by 15 per cent
When the stipend was not hiked for the junior doctors in Andhra Pradesh, the state's Junior Doctors' Association (AP JUDA) issued a notice announcing that they will be going on a strike, starting today, October 26. However, they have now put their strike on hold as the State government has partially agreed to fulfill their demands.
"The stipend should be hiked every two years. It was last hiked in January 2020 and should have been hiked in January this year. But even after nine months, no changes were made in the amount," said Dr Jaswanth Jangam, President of AP JUDA. He added that last month the organisation had issued a notice that they will be going on a strike, but since there was a major shuffle at the state's DME (Directorate of Medical Education) office, they decided to give the regulating authority some more time.
The doctors have demanded a 42 per cent hike in their stipends from the government. The notice of strike was issued on October 17, and on October 21, the government came up with a Government Order (GO) increasing the stipend by 15 per cent, Dr Jaswanth said. "We wanted a written document to prove that stipends would be hiked, as we could not rely on promises uttered orally. Now, we have received it," he added.
He further said that the 15 per cent hike was very less compared to what they originally demanded, but as the GO was issued recently they were holding off the strike at present. "The 42 per cent hike is needed to make the stipends on par with the national average for junior doctors. With the 15 per cent hike, the stipend would now be on par with the neighbouring state's (Telangana) average," the President added.
He informed that the doctors are planning to meet the concerned officials this week to negotiate the amount of the stipend. "We will be meeting the Health Secretary, the DME officials and most probably the Chief Minister as well," Dr Jaswanth stated.
Dr Jaswanth stated that if the stipends are not hiked, about 4,000 postgraduate doctors and house surgeons (interns) as well as about 1,000 new joiners through NEET PG would be affected. As per a press release shared with EdexLive, the doctors said that they desperately took the decision to boycott outpatient services (OPs) from October 26 and inpatient and elective duties from October 27.