Gujarat equates bond service during COVID with senior residency, doctors call off strike
Ahmedabad: After 10 days long agitation of doctors in Gujarat, the state government has finally issued an order stating that the Senior Residency (SR) years of the resident doctors would be considered as part of the bond period in the ratio of 1:1. While the state has equated the bond service to senior residency, the service period still stands at 1:1.
With this, the junior doctors of BJ Medical Colleges (BJMC) have called off their strike and agreed to join their duty.
The Junior Doctors' Association of BJ Medical College proudly stated that this is the first time in the history of Gujarat that Senior Residency (SR) years are being made a part of the bond period. The Government has also assured of forming a committee to decide on provisions for the 2019 and 2020 batches. No stipend or leave will be deducted for absence during the strike.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that in April this year when COVID-19 cases were on the rise, the state government had announced that one day of COVID-19 duty will be considered equivalent to two days of bond duty. However, in July, when COVID-19 cases dropped significantly, a new notification was issued stating that the ratio has been restored to 1:1 instead of the previous 1:2.
Condemning the move, the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) of Gujarat started an agitation demanding that their mandatory medical bond service be considered in the ratio of 1:2, that is one day of service be counted equivalent to service of two days. Members of certain prominent associations of PG medical students including the Junior Doctors Association in Ahmedabad and Surat had also boycotted work over pending demands. The associations like FAIMA, FORDA and IMA JDN also extended their support to the protest.
Junior Doctors at BJ Medical College and Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad announced a strike resulting in paralyzing services. However, the doctors decided to resume COVID duties and Emergency services (Trauma Center) after the authorities promised to raise their issues in front of the Health Minister but the doctors decided to continue their demonstration until written orders would be issued from Health Department.