Govt. doctors deplore delay in COVID incentive payment

Madurai

Doctors across the State owing allegiance to Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA) are annoyed over the delay in payment of one-time COVID incentive announced by the Chief Minister and the non-implementation of the government order announcing pay hike and promotion with effect from June.

With resentment brewing among the doctors, the TNGDA has called for a State executive meeting in Madurai on October 3 to discuss their demands and decide the course of action.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, the association president, Dr. K Senthil Kumar said the doctors had worked through the pandemic under physical and mental duress and deserve a better treatment than just empty promises.

A few days after taking over as the Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin had announced incentives for three months, from April to June, for all frontline medical workers in the government sector, who treated COVID-19 patients during the second wave.

Slabs were announced for different categories offering ₹ 30,000 each to doctors, ₹ 20,000 each to nurses/ PG students/ trainee doctors and ₹ 15,000 each to all other para-medic staff and sanitary workers. The amount had not been provided till date, Dr. Senthil said, adding it affected about one lakh personnel.

What has further irked the healthcare professionals is the sudden withdrawal of the pay hike and promotion as sanctioned vide GO 293 dated June 18.

“It was to be implemented with immediate effect and we received it in the first month. But in the last two months, it has been denied based on queries raised by the officials, including Director and Joint Director (Medical services) and Director (Public Health),” Dr.Senthil pointed out.

Sources say, a goodwill gesture by the CM has suddenly been stopped without any official communication due to dissent expressed by 4,000-odd young doctors, the new entrants in the profession, who do not benefit from the G.O.

The PHC workers and microbiologists who work in labs had been questioned about their duty in wards, which was irrelevant, it was pointed out.

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