Concerns raised by 600 contract doctors as well as ASHA and anganwadi workers in the state will be addressed, Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu said on Tuesday.
Contract doctors had two primary demands — that their pay is increased and that they are made permanent. The salaries of these doctors was hiked at the start of July to Rs 60,000 from Rs 45,000 after they threatened to quit en masse. However, their other major demand of being made permanent was left unaddressed.
“Contract doctors who are protesting demanding that their services be made permanent need not worry. In 2008-09, during my previous stint as the Health Minister, 1944 contractor doctors were made permanent. Today [Tuesday], the Chief Minister has agreed to make 600 of these doctors permanent. The decision will be taken after a meeting with the contract doctors,” Sriramulu told reporters.
On the issue of ASHA (accredited social health activists) and anganwadi workers also being discontent, he urged the workers not to quit service and assured that their demands will be met.
They have been demanding that they are paid Rs 12,000 each month. They are currently paid around Rs 4,000.
Sriramulu was speaking to reporters following a meeting with a central government delegation visiting the state regarding the management of the pandemic. In that meeting, the Karnataka government said that there was no community spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“There is no community spread so far, I am making it very clear. We are still in between the second and the third stage, we haven't reached the third stage yet," Sriramulu said.
As of July 6, 25,317 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the state, which includes 401 deaths and 10,527 discharges. However, the contacts of many patients who tested positive recently, especially in Bengaluru, are yet to be traced.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa held discussions with the Additional Secretary of Health and Family Welfare department Arti Ahuja and the Director of Emergency Medical Relief P Raveendran regarding the COVID-19 situation in the state.