Health Minister Arvind Limbavali on Monday said that the government is ready to fulfil the demands of the striking doctors, but it needs time to solve legal and technical issues.
At the same time, he warned the doctors of stringent action if they did not call off their strike immediately.
During Zero Hour in the Assembly, he said he had already directed the District Health Officers and Deputy Commissioners to take action against the doctors.
The district administrations were also instructed to make use of the services of Ayush doctors and those on contract, he added. The doctors have been demanding the delinking of the seven district hospitals run by the Health Department from the District Medical Colleges (coming under the Medical Education Department).
They feel that the present system is affecting their careers, particularly promotions. The government has already set up a Cabinet Sub- Committee under Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok to look into the matter.
The committee would be meeting this week to resolve the issue, Limbavali said. He also took the doctors to task for resorting to strikes frequently and not listening to the requests of the government. “I have held four meetings with the doctors and explained the complexity of the issue. They are still continuing with the strike, so it has become inevitable for the government to act tough,” he said.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah urged the government to make alternative arrangements so that people are not affected.
Later, making a statement during the Zero Hour in the Legislative Council in response to notices of the Opposition members, the minister said he said bringing back some district hospitals under the Health Department again from the Medical Education Department has some hitches.
He said the government had earlier handed these hospitals to the Medical Education Department to open new Government Medical Colleges.
“Any attempt to bring them back to the Health Department will affect the interests of the medical colleges,” he stated.
“There is a danger of losing Medical Council of India (MCI) recognition if hospitals, which are catering to clinical needs of the government medical colleges, are brought under the Health Department,” Limbavali said.
Meanwhile, sources said the doctors meeting at 10 am on Tuesday to discuss the issue again. Filaria Control Day Programmes Put Off
Meanwhile, the State government postponed the National Filaria Control Day programmes scheduled to be held in nine districts, including Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir and Raichur districts of Gulbarga region Tuesday due to the doctors’ strike.
Gulbarga District Health Officer Dr Shivaraj Sajjanashetty told Express that a fresh date would be decided soon after the strike is called off.