In Karnataka, an association of resident doctors on Sunday called for a statewide indefinite strike from November 29 over its three-point demand. According to a report, Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD) said in a release that resident doctors will be withdrawing all the elective services including outpatient departments (OPDs) and elective operation theatres (OTs) in all the medical colleges affiliated with it.
Reterating its three point demand, the association has urged that the government to consider restructuring the academic fees according to the 2018-19 academic year; payment of Covid-risk allowance; and timely payment of stipend to postgraduates and interns.
In May, the Karnataka government announced a Covid allowance of Rs 10,000 per month from April 2021 for all resident doctors. The association said that the funds have not been released by the government even after six months, terming it a "blatant disregard" towards the doctors serving on the frontlines.
The association highlighting an almost 400% hike in academic fees stated that matter was made even worse by forcing them to pay up the entire sum upfront without any concession during “these troubling times”. It added that innumerable symbolic protests, letters to concerned authorities and a pan-state protest bore no fruitful result.
“It is unfortunate to note that the assurance given by Minister of medical education has not been fulfilled. The intent to address the issue is clearly not visible as resident doctors were excluded from the package of Covid-risk allowance announced recently by Government of Karnataka," the statement read.
The association added that "we are left with no option but to display our dissent in this regard with a PAN-KARNATAKA indefinite strike from NOV 29th 2021, comprising of withdrawal of all the elective services including OPDs and Elective OTs (Excluding emergency services) in all the medical colleges affiliated with KARD."
KARD is an association of house surgeons, postgraduates, and super speciality residents of government medical and dental colleges in Karnataka.