Bengaluru, July 06, 2020: A video of a private doctor appealing to fellow doctors to join the battle against the coronovirus went viral on Sunday, as the count of positive cases in Karnataka crossed 20,000 mark.
The doctor in the video is Taha Mateen, MD at HBS Hospital, in Bengaluru. In the video, Mateen urges doctors and nursing staff to come onboard and work at the hospital by lending a helping hand in the Covid-19 ICU. He speaks about the ordeal of doctors who are putting in 18-hour shifts. He emphasises that there are beds, oxygen cylinders and ventilators available at the hospital but no doctors to treat the patients.
The 1-minute 46 seconds video also has him asking doctors to dedicate just six hours of their day to fight the pandemic. He makes a fervent request to medicos to become frontline warriors and to show the world they are doing this for the sake of humanity.
Meanwhile, about 507 doctors under the banner of the Karnataka Government Contract Doctors Association have decided to go on a three-day protest. These doctors are protesting against the rule that does away with regularising them under the payroll system after a period of three years.
According to a press statement released by the association, the doctors are going to protest from July 6 to 8, with the plan on tendering mass resignations.
On July 6, the doctors will attend their duty wearing a black ribbon around their arm as a mark of protest. On July 7, they plan on observing a hunger strike by fasting the whole day. And finally on July 8, if the government doesn’t relent, they will all handover their papers as a sign of mass resignation.
According to one of the doctors, till 2017 all contract doctors would get absorbed under the government payroll after serving for a period of three years. However, this was done away after the matter had reached the doors of the apex court. Since 2007 till 2017 over 14 batches consisting of over 2,000 doctors were regularised.
In a bid to pacify the medicos, the Karnataka government decided to compensate them by increasing their salary from Rs 45,000 currently to Rs 60,000 per month. But the association has decided to go ahead and continue their protest till the government reinstates the old clause of absorbing contract workers under government payroll.