Mangalore, August 5: Over 150 government doctors affiliated to the Karnataka Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have tendered resignation to put pressure on the State government to fulfil their demands.
As many as 88 doctors in Udupi and 65 doctors in Dakshina Kannada on Saturday tendered their resignation to respective District Health and Family Welfare Officers.
According to official sources over 3,800 government doctors across the state submitted their resignations en masse to jurisdictional district health officers on the same day.
However, the doctors said that medical services in the State would not be affected till August 9 when a meeting of the doctors has been convened with the Chief Minister and the Ministers of Health and Medical Education.
The main demand of the doctors, who have been on the warpath for two years, is that the 11 district hospitals attached to the medical colleges should be handed back to the Health Department.
These hospitals were earlier with the Health Department. While six hospitals were attached to the medical colleges run by the Medical Education Department in 2007, the other five were attached before that.
This had come in the way of doctors working under the Health Department getting promoted, they said.
In Bangalore, KGMOA president H.N. Ravindra said if these hospitals continued to be under the Medical Education Department, government doctors in the districts concerned would never get an opportunity to work in district hospitals. “They will retire at the taluk level itself. At a time when the Health Department is facing a shortage of 968 doctors, including 773 specialists, there is nothing to attract doctors to take up government service,” he said. Their other demands include merger of incentives with basic pay as their salaries are very low compared to what doctors under the Medical Education Department get.
‘Do not panic’
Health Minister Arvind Limbavalli meanwhile urged people not to panic as the doctors had promised to provide medical services normally till August 9.
“I have already met the doctors twice. As their demands pertain to policy decisions, it requires mature deliberations between the Health and Medical Education departments,” he said.
No alternative measures
Refusing to comment on any alternative measures if medical services were paralysed after August 9, the Minister said: “We are hopeful the meeting with the Chief Minister will resolve matters.”