The resident doctors said that only emergency services will be attended by the resident doctors and all other services are likely to be affected.

Karnataka resident doctors on strike
news Protest Sunday, November 28, 2021 - 17:37

Protesting against the non-payment of COVID-19 risk allowances, the postgraduate medical students in government medical colleges, who work as resident doctors in Karnataka, have said they will go for an indefinite strike starting from Monday, November 29. The Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD) said even though the risk allowance was announced to be given from April 2021, they are yet to receive the same. 

The resident doctors had, earlier too, gone on strike over the unpaid dues and other issues on November 9 and had called off the protest after Health Minister Dr Sudhakar assured them that the issues will be resolved within 10 days. 

However, since the allowances still have not been paid, the doctors warned that in the coming days, the strike will affect all-electric services including outdoor patient departments and elective surgeries. Emergency services, including emergency operations, will continue. 

KARD, in a statement, said, “In May 2021, the government of Karnataka announced COVID-19 allowance of Rs 10,000 per month, starting from the month of April, to all resident doctors. It has been more than six months since the day of the announcement, yet the funds have not been released by the government. This shows the blatant disregard towards the doctors serving in the frontlines even today.”

The postgraduate students have also asked for a waiver of fees fully, or reverse the steep hike in fees. There was a 400% fee hike for postgraduate students in 2019-2020 — it went from Rs 30,000 annually to Rs 1,20,000 per year. They said that with the onset of the deadly second wave of the pandemic, they were forced to treat COVID-19 patients at the cost of their academic learning and specialised clinical skills.

“To make matters worse during these troubling times we have been made to pay up the entire sum without any concession. The issue was taken up in the form of innumerable symbolic protests, letters submitted to the concerned authorities on a number of occasions. A protest organized at the pan-state level gave no fruitful result,” KARD added. 

In October too, doctors in various district medical colleges had held protests over the delay of their salaries and stipends for junior resident doctors.

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