Junior doctors at the meet on Thursday. (Bhola Prasad)
The proposed strike called by doctors at MGM Medical College and Hospital on June 25 and 26 was deferred on Thursday, allaying fears of healthcare services coming to a halt at the centre.
The strike, called by 40 junior doctors and 50 interns to protest non-payment of salaries, was put on hold after hospital superintendent Shiv Shanker Prasad assured that allocation of funds under the pay heads would be cleared by the state finance department within 10 days.
The proposed agitation thawed during a last-minute meeting with a delegation of Jamshedpur Junior Doctors Association (JJDA) called at Prasad’s chamber in the afternoon.
Speaking to The Telegraph, president of JJDA Marshal Barun Tuddu, a 2010-batch graduate of the hospital, said the agitation was called as they had not received stipend since March.
“We lodged complaints with the hospital superintendent and also the health department, but to no avail. It was only then that we threatened to go on a two-day token strike to protest against non-payment. However, after today’s meeting we have decided to give 10 more days to the authorities following their assurance,” said Tuddu.
A junior doctor gets a monthly stipend of Rs 22,000 while an intern draws Rs 7,000. The junior doctors and interns attend bulk of the patients at the outpatient department and emergency and indoor wards at MGM Medical College.
According to Prasad, the authorities had discussed the grievances of the junior doctors and interns with the health department.
The finance department, he added, would clear the salary heads for the agitators within 10 days.
“I assured the junior doctors that their demands were genuine and would be soon fulfilled. They agreed to defer the two-day strike and opt for a wait and watch policy for 10 days,” said Prasad.
The junior doctors said they would chalk out a fresh strategy for agitation if they failed to get their salaries in June.“We have already submitted an ultimatum to the hospital authorities. If nothing materialises within 10 days, we will agitate again,” said Sambhu Malik, a JJDA member.