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Doctors demand revision in 7th pay panel norms

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Claude D’Souza

BENGALURU: Doctors from NIMHANS staged a protest on Wednesday at the Town Hall demanding that Central government revise certain aspects of the 7th Pay Commission.

The state government doctors under the banner of the All India Federation of Government Doctor’s Association and resident doctors joined the protest.

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The doctors were upset over the assumed indifferent attitude of the government regarding the anomalies in the Seventh Pay Commission. They complained that the commission was retrograde in nature.

They held slogans saying, “Give us what we deserve,” “Nurses are not scapegoats,” and “Don’t reject doctors.”

“The basic pay and non-practicing allowances were merged while calculating House Rental Allowance (HRA) earlier, but this has now been omitted and the HRA will be calculated only with basic pay resulting in less than the desired salary,” said Rijin, President of NIMHANS Nurses’ Welfare Association.

The protesters also complained that Risk Allowances to Nurses, Nursing Allowances, Uniform Allowances, Special Area Allowances, and relief during emergencies were not included in the current Pay Commission recommendations.

“If the Commission is not revised, it will lead to massive exit of experienced doctors towards private hospitals and even abroad,” said Rijin.

In the private sector, the nurses are recruited on contract basis for a term of one or two years to earn experience and fly abroad. But nurses in government hospitals work for a maximum term of 30 to 35 years with minimum payment and limited promotions.

“The promotion benefits in a government hospital are absurd,” said Reddy Narayan, a doctor from NIMHANS. “After ten years of service, I was promoted to a higher grade with just Rs 200 as the increment,” he added.

The doctors’ association also demanded night duty allowances for nurses spending the nights in taking care of the patients.

“Rejecting the needs of doctors and nurses will only cause a negative effect on the health of the nation,” said Rijin. “All our grievances must be met through our salaries,” he added.

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