The Telangana government has announced 10 per cent additional pay to all government personnel at the frontline in the fight against Covid-19.
At a meeting on Friday, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao approved a proposal to give the additional pay to government doctors, paramedical staff, and everyone working in the health department, including contractual employees and those roped in from private agencies, policemen, and sanitation workers in municipalities and panchayats. An additional sum of Rs 100 crore has been allotted to the health department to implement the move.
As per the request of Health Minister Etela Rajender, the government also agreed to recruit 1,200 doctors who have completed postgraduation into government service, and fill up 200 vacancies of MBBS doctors in primary health centres across the state. The government also released funds to purchase and stock injection vials of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab and Favilavir tablets in large quantities. “Give them free of cost to the needy. There should not be any shortage of these medicines,’’ the Chief Minister said.
Amid criticism that private hospitals are turning away people with symptoms similar to those of Covid-19, Rao said people need not go to the private hospitals and spend huge amounts when government hospitals were capable of treating them free of cost. “Government doctors and staff are well-equipped to treat any number of patients. We should thank the doctors and staff for extending excellent services to contain the spread of the virus and offering good treatment to patients,’’ he said.
The Chief Minister said the state was prepared to tackle the spike in Covid-19 cases. He said that at Gandhi Hospital and Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, 3,000 beds with oxygen facility are available and 5,000 such beds are available across the state. In all, 10,000 beds are earmarked for Covid-19 patients and at least 1,500 beds with ventilators are available in hospitals across the state, he said.
“The newly appointed nurses for new Covid-19 facilities will also get their pay on par with the old counterparts. It has also been decided to enhance retirement age for those working in the Ayush department to 65 years,’’ an official said.
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