Doctors Strike

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Resident doctors at SKIMS Bemina have gone on “indefinite strike” over what they call s pay disparity. They have also threatened to close down emergency services. The doctors’ strike has affected patient care in all the departments since Tuesday. The striking doctors say there is huge disparity between the pay of resident doctors at SKIMS Soura and those at SKIMS Bemina. If there is merit to the doctor’s assertions about a pay anomaly and disparity, it should be addressed. Wages within sectors should be defined by a certain parity. But, as the doctors’ strike at SKIMS , Bemina, suggests this is not the case here. However, all said and done and taking on board and acknowledging the medico’s grievances, they should not and must not go on an indefinite strike. The reasons are obvious: while the doctors’ grouse is with the administration, it is the people who suffer and are at the receiving end. If the sector were not the provision of health care and allied services, the matter might not have been so grave; peoples’ lives are at stake as well as their health. The health care sector, given these reasons, becomes critical, so much so that striking indefinitely amounts to an abdication of a moral duty. However, again, all said and done, the doctors’ grievances appear to be genuine; the pay anomaly must be removed and wages standardized across the sector. The medico’s to push their point could have and even can now, take recourse to other measures to press their genuine demands than a blanket and indefinite strike on their part. If the demands are indeed genuine, then what the administration could do is tie the wage increased and/or standardization of waged in the sector to productivity. What this would, among other things, mean and imply is the revamp of management and administrative paradigms and approaches in the health sector. This paradigm shift, by shifting the onus of responsibility more on medics and then tying wages to productivity, would not only constitute an incentive for doctors, across the board, but would also improve and enhance the performance of the health sector. If the new methods become successful, then these could be replicated across sectors. The ultimate and net beneficiaries would be the people. In the meantime, let the medicos at SKIMS, Bemina, arrive at some kind of a Modus Vivendi, wherein hapless patients do not remain at the sufferance of the strike.