Doctors working at government hospitals on Sunday iterated their threat to go for mass voluntary retirement if their demands were not fulfilled by November 5.
Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA) — a state-level union of government doctors — at an executive body meeting on Sunday drew up a list of demands, including Rs 10 lakh compensation and a job on compassionate grounds for the widow of contractual doctor Kaushal Kumar, immediate and unconditional regularisation of all contractual doctors, fixing duty hours, payscale and other benefits of state doctors on a par with their Centre counterparts.
Kumar, posted at a government hospital in Arwal, committed suicide in Patna in February after being reportedly threatened by criminals who wanted him to prepare a fake injury report.
The other demands of the doctors included special security for the hospitals and clearance of outstanding promotion and petition. They threatened to go on indefinite strike from January 15 next year if the government did not accept their demands.
“We have been struggling for our rights. But the government has become so thick-skinned that it does not care a hoot. We will not sit quiet. If the doctors who have been denied promotion are not provided the benefits within a month, we shall sit on a dharna outside the office of the health department principal secretary Vyasji,” said the BHSA general secretary Dr Ajay Kumar.
Representatives of Indian Medical Association, Bihar State Dentists’ Association and Contractual Doctors’ Association also took part in the meeting. Most of the participants complained about alleged highhandedness of bureaucrats and senior health authorities. The government’s decision to stop salaries of 62 doctors in Patna district was a sore point.
“The way the government is stopping salaries of doctors who reach the hospital even five minutes past 9am is very disrespectful and humiliating for the entire fraternity. We shall not tolerate this,” said a senior doctor.