Resident doctors of SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura have demanded that their pay be brought at par with their counterparts in AIIMS New Delhi and threaten to go on strike if the authorities failed to do so.
In a three page letter, written to Director SKIMS, on 1 November 2017, resident doctors’ association of SKIMS has highlighted the plight of doctors working at the institute. “Once a dream place for residents, SKIMS has now become the last choice for them” reads the letter. Resident doctors have brought to notice the fact that interviews for resident doctors’ posts are conducted “every now and then” as a considerable number of these posts, due to the unresolved issues, continue to remain vacant at the institute. “Even outgoing postgraduates do not want to continue” reads the communication.
Through the letter, the resident doctors have reiterated their demand for bringing their pay at par with the institutes like AIIMS New Delhi and PGI Chandigarh. The matter had also been discussed at the governing body meet of the institute in 2016, following which the newly recruited residents were assured that the pay anomaly would be removed. “The matter was also referred to SKIMS Finance Committee but since then there has been no positive response”.
Resident doctors said that the pay until recently was at par with these institutes, but residents were brought under state cadre.
Demanding that the discrepancy be removed at the earliest, the letter ends with an ultimatum of resident going on strike. “Take care of the caretakers or else the system shall collapse which is the worst outcome than you may have dreamt of”. A time frame of a week has been given to the administration to resolve the issue.
The document also highlights the deterioration of patient care at the institute where as per the statement of the association, due to abolition of junior residency and due to shrunk strength of senior and post graduate residents, very few doctors are available. “Initially SKIMS was entrusted to be a tertiary care institute, but now, due to increase in population, it provides healthcare at all levels – primary secondary and tertiary”. It builds the case over how the increased load and decreased doctors has resulted in “deterioration of patient care” at the institute.
The latter has been copied to media organizations as advance notice for public information “if resident doctors are forced to go on strike”.