Resident doctors threaten strike

Resident doctors threaten strike

Demand better salary structure

Federation of Resident Doctors Association, Delhi has threatened to go on strike on May 26 demanding a better pay structure for doctors. This would paralyse medical services across government hospitals in the Capital.

The FORDA comprises doctors in hospitals run by Delhi government, Centre, municipal corporations and New Delhi Municipal Council. With resident doctors forming the backbone of the majority of OPD services at hospitals, patients will face a harrowing time if they go on strike.

According to resident doctors, faculty members at hospitals are also likely to join the strike. However, there is no confirmation on it yet.

“The FORDA has decided to go on strike on May 26. It will be a one-day strike. We are not happy with the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC),” said FORDA president Dr Pankaj Solanki.

The FORDA recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the demands. “The non practising allowance has been reduced to 20 per cent in the CPC recommendations whereas we had demanded that it be increased to 40 per cent.
 “There is a scarcity of doctors in the country. While the CPC has made this observation, it has done little to boost the morale of doctors,” said Dr Solanki.

Resident doctors claimed the new recommendations are against their interests.Despite repeated requests, there has been no response from the government, doctors said. The FORDA has given the Central government time till May 25 to respond on the issue, following which the doctors will go on strike.

“Though the demands have been placed with the Centre, we are keeping the city government updated on the plans of the FORDA,” said Dr Solanki.

The doctors have also demanded same pay for same work, cutting across different categories like contractual, ad hoc and permanent employees.

They have also asked for allowances to cover telephone bills, extra duty hours and night shift, and hazard pay for diseases contracted by doctors on duty. The FORDA has demanded that doctors across hospitals be given the same allowances.

Parallel OPDs

If the resident doctors go on strike, medical services are likely to remain suspended across hospitals on May 26. However, doctors are thinking of running parallel OPDs outside hospital premises.

“We are planning to run parallel services outside the hospital premises to minimise problems faced by patients. Patients who would need admission would be sent to the emergency where they will be attended to,” said Dr Solanki.

However, with a huge OPD patient load, skeletal services like parallel OPDs are likely to be of little help.