Demanding better pay packages from the government, doctors of five medical colleges in Kerala have decided to continue with their non-cooperation agitation.

The doctors will not treat out-patients in the society wards and pay wards during their agitation, Kerala Government Medical College Teachers Association’s (KGMCTA) newly elected President Dr Vargehese Thomas told reporters after a meeting of the association’s Central Executive Committee here.

The decision comes hardly four days after the then President A. Sarathkumar had announced that the strike had been called off after the Health Minister assured to rectify the anomalies in the new pay package.

The decision to continue with the strike was taken unanimously on Sunday and there was no split in the association, Dr. Thomas said.

The revision was announced after about 13 years and the package was not satisfactory, he said adding there were anomalies in the package which should be rectified.

The association, however, decided to stop private practise from Sept 15 as stipulated by the government. “This is a policy decision of the government and we will accept,” he said.

The association was prepared to hold talks with the government to rectify the anomalies in the pay package, patient care allowance and extension of duty hours from 8 am to 4 pm. The doctors should be given UGC pay scale, Dr Thomas said.

The doctors also expressed dissatisfaction at the extension of their duty hours.

The government had held two rounds of discussions with the KGMCTA on pay revision and then suddenly the new package was announced, he said. The association has not yet been informed and it was only through the media, they have come to hear about the package, he said.

The association’s main objection was to the patient care allowance that that the government had fixed at 15 per cent of the basic pay. It had sought an allowance in the range of Rs. 5000 to Rs. 15,000 across various cadres.


Medical education at a crossroadsSeptember 14, 2009

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