They want criminal cases filed against them withdrawn

Government doctors working in Chickballapur and Tumkur districts have threatened to strike work from April 20 if the State government does not withdraw the criminal cases filed against them for drawing rural allowance.

As many as 52 doctors from Chickballapur district and 101 from Tumkur district have been booked by the jurisdictional Lokayukta Superintendents of Police for drawing rural allowance without staying in the headquarters of the Primary Health Centre (PHC) where they have been deputed. Cases have been filed against them under Section of 13 (1) (C) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Better pay

More than 3,000 government doctors who staged a protest on the premises of the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Department later submitted a memorandum in this regard to the Chief Minister's office.

The doctors, who have been struggling to get their demands fulfilled, said they would cooperate for the smooth conduct of the next round of National Pulse Polio Programme to be held later this week.

“All that we are asking for is salaries and incentives on par with our colleagues in the Medical Education Department. We also want the government to take back the 10 hospitals that are attached to the government medical colleges in the State. These hospitals were hitherto run by the Health and Family Welfare Department,” said H.N. Ravindra, president of the Karnataka Government Medical Officers' Association.

Setting deadline

Association secretary Shyla Kumar said the doctors would wait for a month for the government to meet their demands. After that, a decision on submitting en masse resignations would be taken, he added.