THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: All professional organisations of doctors have come together to express their solidarity with the striking health service doctors who are on a relay hunger strike pressing various demands.
Terming the demands of the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA), which is spearheading the agitation, as genuine, Indian Medical Association (IMA) state president Dr Sreejith N Kumar said the government should hold discussions with the striking doctors at the earliest and resolve the impasse.
“Many of the demands, including the call for night duty off, is veritable. A dcotor cannot be forced to slog for long hours, which could in turn adversely affect patient care. And as such there is a need to fill the mounting vacancies, which is another demand raised by KGMOA,” he said. On the demand for protecting district/general hospitals that are now being converted into Medical Colleges, Kumar said the IMA was of the opinion that new medical colleges should be set up only after conducting scientific studies. “We haveto decide whether we need new MCs and where to have them,” he said.
Kerala Government Medical College Teachers Association (KGMCTA) state president Dr K Mohanan said the government should have an open mind to the issues raised by the doctors. “The issue should be resolved at the earliest and if the agitation continues, it would cause severe hardship to the common man,” he said.
Kerala Government Specialist Doctors Association secretary Dr Sunjith Ravi also called upon the government to chalk out an amicable solution. Noting that the Association stood with KGMOA on the issues related to night duty off, promotion and private practise, he said they had other demands that have been neglected. He mentioned that the association was against downgrading specialty hospitals to Community Health Centres. He said that they were against including rural service in PG service quota as it would not benefit the specialty cadre as the specialist were working only at the taluk or district hospitals. He said the private guidelines should be brought out at the earliest. On the PG Deputation issue, he said that it should be for all those who completed probation.
Expressing solidarity with the doctors, Kerala Government Post Graduate Medical Teachers Association (KGPMTA) state president Dr Ajith Prasad J S said that all issues raised by the doctors in health service was true. The doctors should not be over burdened with work and if so it could adversely affect their output. “There is a dearth of doctors in the health service and all these vacant posts should be filled immediately,” he said. Kerala Medical Post Graduate Association secretary Dr Sharath Thomas Roy and Indian Psychiatric Society (Kerala) general secretary Dr Jayaprakash K P said the government should change its adamant stand of denying their rightful demands.