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Doctors association says no strike on June 1, to hold candle march instead

New Delhi: Following assurances given by the Union Health Minister J P Nadda to look into their demands, the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) has decided to put on hold the proposed Doctors’ Strike on June 1.

FORDA Candle March

“Instead a peaceful candle march would be held here on June 1. However, if the demands are not met, then an indefinite strike of doctors would begin from June 8,” Dr Narayan Dabas, convenor, FORDA, told India Medical Times.

Dr Narayan Dabas
Dr Narayan Dabas

According to Dr Dabas, the candle march will commence from the Central Park, Connaught Place at 7 pm on Wednesday and would reach Jantar Mantar at 8:30 pm. Faculty, resident doctors, interns and MBBS students from medical colleges and hospitals in Delhi are expected to participate in the candle march. “Also, black band protest will continue till June 8,” he said.

On May 28, Nadda met representatives of FORDA and discussed the reasons for doctors’ strike proposed for June 1. At the meeting, the minister assured the doctors to look into their grievances.

Doctors in government hospitals have been protesting against the demerger of Non-Practising Allowance (NPA) from the basic salary. They also want the NPA to be increased to 40 percent of the basic salary.

“Earlier, the NPA was merged with the basic salary. But now in the 7th Pay Commission, the NPA has been demerged from the basic salary. So, our first demand is to merge it again with the basic salary,” said Dr Dabas.

“Then the second issue is how much amount this NPA has. So many committees have suggested that NPA should be minimum 30 per cent and doctors from all over India have demanded it to be 40 per cent. But the 7th Pay Commission has reduced it from 25 per cent to 20 per cent of the basic salary. So, our major two demands are to merge the NPA with the basic salary and increase it to 40 per cent of the basic salary,” he added.

Doctors also want the postgraduate seats in medical colleges to be increased. Some of their other demands are hazard pay, learning resources allowance, night shift allowance, and extra duty allowance.

To press for the acceptance of their demands, doctors in government hospitals in Delhi had gone on a day strike on May 26.

by Pooja Pandey

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