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4,000 doctors resign in Karnataka over salary hike issue

September 29, 2009 21:28 IST

The stalemate between the Karnataka government and doctors over salary hike shows no sign of ending, as over 4,000 doctors submitted their resignation letters en-masse in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Apart from hike in their pay, the doctors have sought regularisation of contractual doctors and time-bound promotion in their demands, which the government refused to accept.

After rejecting the appeal of the state's Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao to wait till October 4, the doctors submitted their resignation letters to Usha Vasunkar, director of health and family welfare department.

"They are giving their resignations to me. I have received and I will forward this to the Secretary," Usha Vasankar said.

However, the doctors said they would work till October 14, the deadline set by them for the government to meet their demands.

"They (the government of Karnataka) have not taken any issue seriously because two years ago we had submitted this memorandum to the government. The government has not initiated any action regarding this. So, the government has to address the problem of the people," said Dr Shail Kumar, vice president of Karnataka Government Medical Officers Association.

"We told the chief secretary about our resignation process today. So, on October 4, the chief minister will address our grievances, but we are not able to do so because all our friends have assembled here. So, we are continuing with our duties. Till October 14, we are in the hospital. We will conduct all our duties," Kumar added.

Government doctors at the beginners' level get a monthly pay of Rs 18,500, which the Association has demanded to be raised to at least Rs 35,000, while in negotiations the government has offered a pay hike ranging between Rs 3,000 and Rs 8,000 respectively.

The Association is still adamant with their demands and has set October 14 as the deadline for the government to accept its demand.
Source: ANI