Bihar: Junior doctors to go on indefinite strike from August 27; move 10-point chartered demand to Health Secretary
Bihar: Demanding an increase in stipend and relaxation in government bond while pursuing Post-Graduate (PG medical) medical course, at least 600 of the junior doctors of the nine-state government colleges of Bihar have threatened to go on a strike for an indefinite time from August 27 if their demands are not fulfilled.
On August 21, the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) moved a letter, a 10-point charter of demands to the principal Health Secretary. Addressing the issue that the government is supposed to review their stipend within every three years, hence, it is the high time that authorities should initiate a hike in the stipend, as the last review was done in May 2017, the junior doctors claimed.
To elaborate, the junior doctors who are working day and night in order to handle the situation as COVID warriors have demanded a significant hike in their current stipend. Currently, they are getting rupees 50000, 55000, 60000 respectively in three years of their course; however, they are demanding it to be increased up to 80000, 85000, and 90000.
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Besides the stipend issue, the Association has raised several other issues in front of the authorities including the problem with government bond service.
As per HT, in 2017, the state government instructed the PG medicos of government colleges to compulsorily serve at government medical facilities for three years after the completion of their course. However, the Junior Resident doctors demanded that they should also be allowed relaxation in the government bond so that they can pursue super specialty courses like DM, Mch, and secondary DNB and fellowship programs.
The Junior Doctors' Association submitted that if the government instructed them to mandatorily extend their services for government facilities, it will be difficult for them to take preparation for the entrance examination of the highest super specialty courses; hence, it can put their future in danger. They also urged the authorities to grant maternity leave during the three years mandatory service period. The association has suggested that after completing their super-specialty courses, the doctors will be rejoining the government facilities to complete the 3-year bond service.
The other demands of JDA included allowing them to work as Senior Resident Doctor or tutors at least for one year. After working as a senior resident doctor it will help them to work either in a government facility or any sub-divisional hospital or any other community health center for the remaining two years of the bond service. It will help them to fulfill the eligibility criteria of an Assistant Professor as decided by the regulations of the Medical Council of India (MCI). They also stated that the posting of the doctors at the completion of PG courses could be done on the basis of merit.
The doctors further mentioned that the government should not take back the remuneration paid to them during the PG courses if the bond is broken. Dr. Harendra Kumar, president JDA-Bihar told Hindustan Times that "We have also demanded that the penalty of Rs 25 lakh be recovered per defaulted year — Rs 9 lakh for one-year default, Rs 16 lakh for two years and full Rs 25 lakh for three years of default."
Furthermore, they sought that as the state government previously announced, the health workers should be rewarded a one-month basic salary as the incentive for extending the services in COVID facilities. Considering the plight of the non-COVID-19 patients, JDA also put forward that non-COVID patients should also be treated at medical colleges like Nalanda Medical College, Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital which have turned into COVID facilities, reports HT.