January 20, 2022 6:12:55 am
With no headway in talks with the Gujarat government over their several pending demands of senior government doctors, nearly 10,000 government doctors in the state are scheduled to go on an “indefinite strike” from Thursday.
Doctors of government hospitals, government medical colleges, Gujarat Medical Education Research Society (GMERS) doctors and dental teachers of government medical colleges are due to participate in the strike.
On May 16, 2021, the Gujarat government’s health department, under former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s leadership, had issued a government resolution, addressing several demands of senior doctors, some of these demands dating back to as long ago as 2012.
The issues addressed included those pertaining to pension benefits, direct recruitment for ad-hoc appointments, payment of non-practising allowance and salary increments.
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However, this GR was not implemented and on November 22, 2021, the health department issued a second GR, withdrawing the earlier May GR.
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Following the withdrawal of the GR, the senior doctors had announced on two occasions that they would go on strike but had ultimately withdrawn from the same after the state government established a dialogue with the aggrieved doctors.
Dr Hitendra Desai, affiliated to Gujarat Medical Teachers’ Association, one of the government doctors’ associations that is due to participate in the strike, said, “We kept on hoping that our issues would be resolved and addressed amicably, so we kept on waiting. We were told that the matter would be taken up at today’s Cabinet meeting and a final solution will be arrived at but there has been no development with respect to our issues.”
“We withdrew from going on a strike twice on government’s request and assurance that it would be resolved, but we are told that approval from the finance department is pending,” Desai added.
The doctors in December 2021, had announced an indefinite strike, but had subsequently withdrawn the decision.
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