2,500 doctors at six medical colleges on strike in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: Around 2,500 doctors, who are faculty members at the six medical colleges in Gujarat and serve in hospitals attached to them, have gone on an indefinite strike.

Demanding pay-scale parity with the teachers of other non-government medical colleges as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, a demand pending for three years, the doctors went on strike on Thursday.

"We have been demanding pay-scale parity with teachers in non-government medical colleges, as in pharmacy, law, science, polytechnic colleges...as per UGC guidelines, and a time-bound promotion schedule," said Gujarat Medical Teachers` Association (GMTA) secretary, Dr J C Makwana.

There had been no assurance from the state for the last three years despite repeated representations and several rounds of talks, he said.

"We are also demanding that government remove cap of Rs 75,500 on the pay-scale as the retirement age has been increased from 58 to 62 years," Makwana said.

The strike is on in district medical colleges of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Surat and Bhavnagar. These doctors teach junior doctors as well as attend to patients.

Around 400 doctors of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation`s four hospitals, including a dental college, today went on a token strike in support of agitating doctors.

The BJ Medical College and Hospital here is one of the biggest in the state and caters to over 1,500 patients daily.