Resident doctors across Karnataka on Monday staged a 'symbolic protest' against the use of their services for COVID-19 without any academic activity, among other demands.
The representatives of Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD) who held the protest claimed that the government is using their services for COVID-19 related work due to which there has not been enough clinical academic exposure to them in their postgraduate courses for which they are still being charged hefty fees.
Dr Ramesh MS, Secretary, KARD, complained that there had been no proper clinical academic activities happening statewide since the pandemic.
"We have been working exclusively in COVID-19 related services for nine months. We have not had enough academic exposure to sharpen our skills in a chosen particular area of medicine. We will be graduating in a few months. How do we work in the public domain if we do not get our required academic exposure? " said Ramesh.
The doctors demanded the government to waive off tuition fees for the postgraduate medicos. "When the government can waive fees for schools and other educational institutions, why should we pay in lakhs? We are only working, anyway. There has not been an academic year for us," he added.
The doctors do not want the extension of their internship by another three months. They said that the government is using its services to cut costs. "We do not want any extension. It is a trick by the government to make us work at a lesser price," said Dr Dayanand Sagar, President, KARD.
The doctors further demanded the 'COVID risk allowance' in recognition of their services provided during the pandemic. "This should be given to all residents, interns, and undergraduates whoever did the COVID-19 duty," added Dayanand.
During the protest, the doctors held empty coconut shells to symbolise "lack of response from the government despite their hard efforts."
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