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Himachal doctors start pen-down strike over NPA denial

Up in arms over the withdrawal of Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) for doctors to be recruited from now onwards, the doctors started a one-and-a-half hour pen-down strike at health facilities across the state from today.

“It’s injustice to the doctors. We crack one of the toughest exams in the country and toil for five-and-a-half years to get our MBBS degree. So, taking away NPA from the doctors is not fair,” said the protesting doctors at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC), Shimla.

Calling it a big setback in economic terms for doctors, especially those at the early stage of their career, the protesters said it would push them towards private practice. “If NPA is withdrawn, the doctors will leave the hospital at fixed time and might start private practice,” the protesting doctors said, adding that eventually it will hit the interest of common people.

Himachal Medical Officers Association (HMOA) secretary Dr Vikas Thakur said that the pen-down strike was observed in almost all health facilities, including medical colleges, across the state. “We have formed a joint action committee in this matter. All medical college faculties and Resident Doctors Association have joined us in this struggle,” he said.

“We will carry on with our pen-down strike for a week. In case, the government doesn’t withdraw the decision by the end of this week, we will scale up our protest,” he said. Tribune India

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