Thousands of doctors and members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) will go on a three-day hungerstrike next month in the city to protest the “apathy” of the government towards ESI doctors. After waiting for months for a response from chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the IMA, at an emergency meeting last week, decided to go on hungerstrike in front of the ESI hospital in Maniktala and its office in Bagmari from March 11.
“The chief minister had assured us of solving our problems by January 31. Forget a hike in salary, the ESI doctors haven’t even been paid for the past several months,” IMA state branch secretary Moloy Patra said.
More than 1,400 ESI doctors have not received their salaries from April last year. An ESI doctor draws a salary of only Rs 60 per year per family. Earlier, on December 18, the IMA sat-in at Esplanade to focus on the ESI plight.
The rally choked traffic and the issue threatened to spin beyond the government’s control. The chief minister summoned key IMA functionaries to Writers’ Buildings to discuss the issue.