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HYDERABAD: On a day of high drama, 3,500 junior doctors boycotted elective duties across government hospitals on Wednesday seeking better wages and facilities, and vowed to continue their strike, even as chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao acceded to some of their demands.
Hours after KCR promised a 15 per cent increase in the honorarium paid to senior residents and appealed to the junior doctors to join duties immediately, they decided to intensify their strike instead, which could now see scores of Covid-19 patients suffering as well.
Demanding assurance of better treatment and beds for Covid-19 hit healthcare workers and their immediate family members and 15 per cent hike in stipend, the strike took hold in almost all state-run hospitals during the day.
The ENT PGs went on strike in Gandhi Hospital and have demanded a separate wing for mucormycosis and Covid-19 patients.
At the Gandhi Hospital, which is the nodal centre for Covid-19 treatment, seniors handled duties as the juniors were not seen in the wards.
“We pursued for approval of hike with officials regularly since last six months. The 10 per cent incentive that was announced for healthcare workers has not been implemented till date,” the strike notice had read.
“In this second wave we are seeing so many youngsters dying and knowing that we might be unable to find a bed is a demotivating factor,” said a junior doctor who protested at the Gandhi Hospital.
Though the CM extended the enhanced honorarium to even the medical students who are engaged in the Covid-19 duties after their three years of MBBS course and ordered better medical facilities to junior doctors and their family members at NIMS, Telangana Junior Doctors Association vice-president M Kalyani told TOI that they were yet to take a decision on calling off the strike.
“We are demanding 15 per cent hike for junior doctors with retrospective effect from January 2020, ex gratia of Rs 50 lakh for the family members of junior doctors who die of coronavirus, allotment of beds in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences for healthcare workers including junior doctors, their spouse and parents for free treatment of Covid-19, and 10 per cent risk allowance among other demands,” Kalyani said.
KCR said if their demands were justified, the government has no objection to solve them. They can put those demands before the government and get them resolved.
“But it is not proper to abstain from duties under the pretext of strike without understanding the situation, and causing inconvenience to the patients. Moreover, going on strike during the present medical emergency caused by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is not correct. No one will appreciate it. Not even the people,” KCR said.

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