The doctors of Medical College across the state will organise protests on March 3, due to non-payment of salary arrears, which includes Allowance Reform (NPA, PCA), and also for not settling issues like entry cadre, career advancement promotions. The protest will be led by the Kerala Government Medical College Teachers’ Association (KGMCTA). “It is highly objectionable that salaries and allowances of doctors who worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic are not paid in full,” said the KGMCTA.
An indefinite duty boycott will be held from tomorrow. They will boycott VIP duty, pay ward duty and non-Covid duties. All-day from tomorrow will be celebrated as a black day. The association even plans to hold a protest in front of the Secretariat on the 10th of this month and will boycott OP, pre-arranged surgeries and teaching on 17th March.
One of their major demands had been the implementation of salary increment without any further delay. The doctors in government medical colleges were supposed to get their salary revision in 2016, but it was delayed and the statement later released said that the arrears will be paid from 2020. The KGMCTA further alleges that the doctors did not receive any salary arrears including allowances due during this period.
At the state level, the KGMCTA will celebrate March 3 as a Cheating Day. On that same day, protests and dharnas will be organised in front of the principal's office in all medical colleges and in front of the Directorate of Medical Education office in Thiruvananthapuram. No services will be disrupted and the protest will strictly adhere to Covid protocols.
Earlier, following the announcement of the indefinite strike, the Health Minister had convened a meeting and promised that their demands such as salary hikes and allowances will be fulfilled. However, they claim that it was a trick by the government to save their faces. Later, even a meeting was convened with the Health Minister and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, but nothing produced the desired result.
Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the government medical college hospital, Thiruvananthapuram. After receiving the vaccine, the minister appealed to everyone to take part in the programme. Apart from the Health Minister, Minister of Ports and Museums Kadannappally Ramachandran got vaccinated from a hospital at Kannur.