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Nearly 506 doctors, working on contractual basis for the Health and Family Welfare Department across Karnataka, have decided to quit en masse on Wednesday, as their demand for 'equal pay for equal work' has been left unattended.
The doctors are quitting over the pay disparity as well as in protest against the government's failure to regularize their posts.
The Contract Doctors' Association of Karnataka (CDAK) has written to Health Minister B Sriramulu and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, communicating their decision to quit and requesting to relieve them from work immediately, the Deccan Herald reported.
These doctors are treating COVID-19 patients and have been posted at various Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state.
At present, their monthly pay amount is Rs 45,000, while the new recruits on contract assigned to the COVID-19 duties have been paid Rs 60,000 with an additional Rs 15,000. In contrast, the regular doctors' monthly salary account for Rs 80,000.
The Association has also demanded the government to regularize their jobs.
Currently, more than 30% of the posts are vacant in the government hospitals. Amid the rise in COVID-19 patients, the contract doctors are working on a par with regular doctors at COVID-designated hospitals, and therefore merit equal pay, the letter read.
However, the association said that doctors would continue to work as COVID warriors despite their resignation.
A similar issue was reported yesterday from Manipur's Imphal, where All Manipur Ayush Doctors' Association demanded the state for equal pay to doctors/practitioners under National Health Mission Manipur with Allopathy/MBBS medical practitioners.
They also submitted a memorandum to the State Mission Director and the Govt, highlighting their challenges and low pay disparity that they are facing on multiple occasions.
The association also asked the State to regularize their posts, and warned of ceasing the work strike from June 22, if they fail to come out with a positive response.
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