The in-service doctors of government-run medical colleges and Gujarat Medical & Education Research Society (GMERS) colleges have now set January 16 as their deadline, after which they will go on a strike. This decision comes after a round of discussions the doctors had with the state government over their pending demands.
Initially, the Gujarat Government Doctors Forum (GGDF), which consists of six government-run hospitals and eight GMERS colleges, decided to go on a strike on December 13. However, after receiving assurances from the government, they postponed the indefinite strike.
The protesting doctors have decided to give the government time till January 16. If their demands remain unfilled, they will go on an indefinite strike. A member of GGDF said, as quoted by TOI, “The government has looked into many of our demands. However, discussions are on about a few of our demands, and we are hopeful that the government will consider them before the Vibrant Gujarat summit next month.”
What are the demands of in-service doctors in Gujarat?
Over the past few months, the doctors teaching at medical colleges in Gujarat have faced salary cuts of up to Rs 25,000 to Rs 96,000 per month. The Gujarat government, which earlier planned to give a dearness allowance, withdrew it five months later and recovered the amount already paid for the salary of these professors.
The professors are demanding a higher non-practising allowance and the abolition of contract appointments. Since government medical teachers are not allowed to practice privately, they are paid compensation for the same. Earlier this year, the Gujarat Medical Teachers’ Association (GMTA) demanded that medical college teachers should be allowed to start private practice after ten years of regular service, and they also demanded an increase in their monthly salaries.