Docs in govt hospitals threaten to go on strike over pay

Doctors working in government hospitals in Delhi today threatened to go on strike from May 26 if the government does not meet their demands regarding salaries and allowances.
The Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), which is an umbrella organisation of 15,000 resident doctors across 41 government hospitals in the capital, have now written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to revise the recommendations which they termed were "particularly discriminating to doctors".
FORDA which has strongly been opposing the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission since November last year, in its letter to Modi said, "When the 7th CPC was constituted we doctors were very hopeful that our demands will be looked after, which is increasing Non-Practising Allowance (NPA) to 40 per cent from existent 25 per cent, instead it has been reduced to 20 per cent.
"The basic pay and NPA were merged together while calculating House Rental Allowance (HRA) earlier, but this has now been omitted and HRA will be calculated only with basic pay resulting in less than the desired salary."
The letter further said that, "The CPC has observed that availability of skilled healthcare professionals also poses a key constraint in expanding the health service delivery.
"Against the desirable density of 85 physicians per lakh of population, the availability is 57 physicians. But the CPC has only observed this scarcity and has done little only to boost the morale of the doctors."
FORDA in its letter also demanded uniform pay scales, night shift allowances which currently exists for nursing staff in government hospitals and the formulation of a uniform central residency scheme for the resident doctors of India.
Dr Pankaj Solanki, President of FORDA, said the recommendations are strongly discriminatory and are against the interest of the medical profession and that retention of doctors in government hospitals will become difficult if they get implemented.
"Government is not even bothered to listen to our demands. We do not want to go on strike but if our demands are not met we would be forced to go on strike from May 26," he said.

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