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Doctors on contract seek pay hike, job

A large number of contractual doctors from across the state gathered in Patna on Sunday demanding permanent government job and hike of monthly remuneration to Rs 50,000.

The medics, staging a demonstration near Kargil Chowk under the aegis of Bihar State Contract Doctors’ Association, accused the health department of taking them for a ride.

“We feel cheated by the way the government has been treating us. They recently advertised for vacancies of 1,510 posts of doctors. Various functionaries said in public it was meant for inducting ad hoc doctors into regular services. But now they are asking us to appear in written tests and interviews. As working doctors we do not get the time to study and prepare for competitive examinations. Then why this false promise?” said Dr Amitabh Kumar, the executive president of the association.

About 1,670 MBBS doctors work in government hospitals in Bihar on contract.

The contractual doctors’ association also demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation for the family of Dr K.K. Singh, a contractual doctor, who reportedly committed suicide, in Arwal in February this year.

Singh was under pressure because he was attacked by the relatives of a patient, who died at the hospital where he was on duty at the time of the incident. He was allegedly threatened to take back the assault charge after one of the accused was arrested in the case.

Various members of the association also demanded that the principal secretary of the health department should be changed and a “sensitive, friendly and practical official” be brought in.

The doctors said they would also participate in the July 5 strike called by Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA), an organisation of the government doctors in Bihar, in case they go ahead with it. The BHSA has threatened to go on a daylong strike if the state government does not meet their eight- point demand.

The BHSA executive body had also slammed the state government for its “insensitivity and apathetic attitude” towards their long pending demands in a meeting last week.

A senior health department officer told The Telegraph that the government would look into only the genuine demands of the contractual doctors. “Threats of strike by permanent and temporary doctors will not lead to any solution,” the officer added.


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