THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The doctors under the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) who were on an indefinite non-cooperation strike for two weeks, called off their strike on Saturday after the government agreed to favourably consider their demands. A decision was taken to set up a committee to examine the night duty order for doctors and recommend modifications, if needed.
The government agreed to withdraw its decision to impose dies non on those who participated in the strike, the association said.
Announcing the withdrawal of the strike, which started on July 21, the KGMOA said the decision to call off the strike was taken in the wake of fruitful discussions between the government and the association.
It was agreed at the discussions that all disciplinary cases instituted against doctors who have taken part in the strike on the Neyyatinkara issue, will be dropped except where criminal cases are pending. The dies non declared for the strike would be withdrawn with retrospective effect, said KGMOA state president Dr E P Mohanan.
“The government has agreed to look into the issues related to duty-time of doctors. Most doctors are forced to work around 17 hours a day. The government has agreed to set up a regulatory committee to study the issue. It was decided to appoint four doctors at all taluk hospitals, which do not have casualty facility, to start casualty services,” KGMOA office-bearers said.
A decision was taken during talks between the KGMOA and Health Minister V S Sivakumar that the medicines procured in pharmacies will be first sent for quality check at any of the NABL-certified laboratories before distributing them at the government pharmacies. The aim is to ensure that good quality medicines are supplied to the patients. Another decision was to set up a committee with a representative from KGMOA to examine in detail the night duty order keeping in mind the public interest and to recommend modifications, if any, to the government.
The duties of doctors from the DHS stream in Manjeri Medical College Hospital will be as other General Hospitals and the Secretary will hold discussion in this regard with Director of Health Services and Director of Medical Education. The strike was called to protest against the government decision to shift specialists from the health service to new medical colleges.