Protest Against Allowance Cut: Kerala Govt Doctors To Initiate Standing Agitation
Thiruvananthapuram: Protesting against the anomalies in the recent pay revision that has allegedly cut down the allowances and benefits, the government doctors in Kerala has decided to launch a relay standing agitation in front of the Secretariat today.
This comes as a continuation of the month-long peaceful that the doctors were participating in, under the umbrella of the Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association (KGMOA). Although they had started in a peaceful manner, it was decided that they would intensify their protest if their demands remained unmet.
KGMO former president S Prameela Devi would inaugurate the agitation in front of the Secretariat on November 1, reports PTI.
It has been claimed that despite working relentlessly by facing the challenges posed by the pandemic, not only were the doctors and health workers not provided any risk allowance, when the pay revision came, their salaries were not increased, and instead their various allowances were withdrawn by the state government.
The doctors under the umbrella of KGMOA had started the agitation from October 4 onwards in a peaceful manner as they had started boycotting trainings, online meetings, and e-Sanjeevani online teleconsultation system.
It was pre-decided that from October 15, the doctors would also boycott review meetings, VIP duty, and meetings of the Local Self Government Department, and intensify their protest by holding a 'relay standing protest' in front of the Secretariat on November 1. However, if their grievances remained unfulfilled still, it was decided that the doctors would go on a mass casual leave from November 16.
Previously, while speaking to Medical Dialogues regarding the issue, Dr. Vijayakrishnan G.S, the State President of KGMOU had said, "We are aware of the COVID situation and we know that the patient care services shouldn't be affected at all. That is why, we have opted for this Gandhian form of agitation. However, if the situation doesn't improve by November 15, we will be forced to take mass casual leave."
However, the government hasn't still responded to the demands of the doctors and as planned, the doctors have decided to launch a relay standing agitation in front of the Secretariat as a mark of protest against the anomalies in the recent pay revision, which has allegedly cut down their allowances and some benefits.
As the state health sector has been facing acute shortage of human resource, the medicos have to face several challenges from mental pressure to overtime duty schedules to contribute their best in the Covid and post-Covid treatment, KGMOA noted.
Not only were the doctors and health workers denied the risk allowance, but also there was no proportionate increase when the pay revision came and many of their allowances were withdrawn, KGMO president Dr. G S Vijayakrishnan alleged.
Though the doctors had staged several token agitations earlier, the government ignored all such strikes and the standing agitation was part of plans to intensify their protests, he said.
Hundreds of doctors from the family health centres to district health centres across the state would be part of the protest, he said adding that the medicos would go on mass casual leave on November 16 if the authorities ignored this stir also.