THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Health Minister V S Sivakumar has warned the striking members of the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) of strict disciplinary action. He urged the association to withdraw the strike considering the plight of the common man.
The Minister said the KGMOA had not called off the strike even after a consensus was arrived upon at a meeting held on Friday. “The KGMOA leaders had expressed satisfaction over the decisions in the meeting convened by the Health Director. In the meeting, the association had informed that they would withdraw the strike, but they later changed their stand, which is unfortunate. Despite the consensus arrived in the meeting on September 8, the doctors resorted to a relay strike next day which is unjustifiable,” he said.
The Minister said that the KGMOA leaders had accepted the government’s offer to relax the duty time during the day shift before a night shift, till a final decision is taken on the Dr M Beena committee.
The committee was constituted with members of the association and it is expected to submit its report on September 30. The committee will study the various demands of the doctors, including sanctioning two day duty off for one night duty, and more facilities for private practise. It will submit its report on September 30.
‘Govt did not Accept Demands’
Meanwhile, the striking members of the KGMOA said the government failed to accept any other demands on Friday’s meeting. General Secretary Joseph Chacko said the strike would continue till the demands are met.
The association said 65 taluk hospitals in the state lacked sufficient doctors in the intensive care unit. 300 doctors who are on higher studies are denied their salary. The Wayanad and Kasargod packages remain in paper. Government hospitals in the tribal areas lack doctors for emergency care.
The government should continue talks with the association to settle the issue, he said.
The Kerala Government Medical College Teachers Association has urged the government to continue discussions with the KGMOA to resolve their issues and to convince them to call off the strike.