KARD is set to meet the CM today discussing the concerns. The doctor show concern about their demands still not being met.
Although junior doctors went on strike, the Out-Patient Department (OPD) ran well as doctors worked in shifts and juggled their workload with the protests..
“I didn’t face any problems today when I went for my checkup. I didn’t even notice that half of the doctors were missing,” said Shashidhra, a patient. “They should be paid more as they’ve worked so much at the time when we were at our home in lockdown,” she added, showing her support for the doctors.
Silent protests started by junior doctors on Nov. 29 turned into a march today demanding their terms to be met as soon as possible.
They marched from Victoria Hospital to the town hall at around 11 a.m. As doctors from various parts of the city joined together to raise their voices, the number of protestors increased from 500 to nearly 700.
“We want to be heard now as it has come onto our self-respect. We cannot just sit in a park assigned by the government and draw placards when they keep ignoring our needs,” said Naveen, president of the Resident Doctors Association (RDA).
“The government told us in April that a risk allowance of Rs. 10,000 per month for COVID would be given to the doctors. We still have not received this amount. We were paid Rs. 45,000 per month at the time of COVID, which is way less than what PG students in other states are paid. And at the time when they increased our fee from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 1, 50,000, which is a huge jump, it has become really difficult for the doctors.” Said, Dr. Shohaib, a Post-Graduate (PG) student working at Victoria Hospital.
The fee hike has affected the medical PG students of the whole state. “I worked hard to get into a government college to get a quality education at an economical price. Also, it is not fair to pay this much when the facilities are not that good.”
Undergraduate students are also concerned about the fee hike as they prepare for the National Eligibility cumulative Entrance Test-PG (NEET-PG). Ananya, an Undergraduate student at Victoria hospital, showed concern and said, “Why would I even choose a government college when they will keep increasing our fees and give us less stipend than what we deserve with fewer facilities.”
Anuradha Parmeshwari, president, Indian Medical Association, Bangalore branch, came out in full support of the doctors. “Today, a team of the Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD) is set to meet with Basavaraj Bommai, the Chief Minister, and Dr. K. Sudhakar, the Health minister of Karnataka,” said Tejas, president of KARD.
Dr. Rajesh, an RDA member, said even though the meeting with the CM is being held today, he is not keeping any hopes if their demands will be met. The health ministry continues to focus on the COVID allowance while ignoring the fee structure.