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Ayush doctors demand pay hike

Balangir, March 18: Doctors practising alternative medicine at various primary and community health centres across the state have demanded that their appointments be regularised and their salaries revised.

Speaking at a media conference on Thursday evening, members of the Balangir District Ayush Doctors’ Association said they were disappointed with the apathy of the state government towards ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homoeopathy (Ayush) doctors.

The members alleged that even though ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homoeopathy were recognised systems of medicine and have been integrated into the national health delivery system, the state government had not regularised the jobs of Ayush doctors posted at various primary and community health centres in the state set up under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Association president Dr Tarakanta Sahu said Ayush doctors had been working for a consolidated pay of Rs 8,000 per month since 2006-07.

He said the government did not pay heed to their demands even though many Ayush doctors had been working in remote areas under difficult circumstances.

“Ayush doctors are serving in Maoist-hit poverty stricken backward areas of the state, yet their well being is not taken into consideration,” he added.

He said while the central government was providing Rs 25,000 as salary for each Ayush doctor under NRHM, the state government paid only Rs 8,000.

“We are denied the stipulated salary we should get as the state government pays us only Rs 8,000 per month. We get an incentive of only Rs 2,000 for working in the infamous Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) districts while other doctors get incentives as high as Rs 8,000-14,000 per month.”

General secretary of the association Dr Lalit Lumar Sahu said: “While the salaries of state and central government employees have increased as per the Sixth Pay Commission, the state government has done nothing for Ayush practitioners.”

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