KOLLAM: The state committee of Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) has called an indefinite strike from Friday in protest against the decision to extend the Out Patient (OP) time in hospitals. As per the decision, doctors will not only boycott OP duty but private practices also.
In a statement, KGMOA states only the casualty wing will function during the strike period and in-patient treatment will be continued till April 18. It further states during the strike period no new admissions will be made and only emergency operations will be performed.
Briefing about the protest programme, KGMOA state secretary Jithesh V said the decision to extend the OP time as well as the suspension of a doctor attached to Kumaramputhur Family Health Centre at Palakkad prompted the association to call an indefinite strike.“It was with the aim of bolstering the preventive health measures in the state that the Ardram Mission was launched. But what has happened now is the authorities concerned only limit it to extending the OP time. This is totally unscientific and is condemnable,” said Jithesh.
According to him, despite submitting a slew of representations to the Health Minister as well as to higher officers, they had turned a blind eye to the same. The KGMOA secretary further alleges the pre-monsoon activities for preventing and controlling the outbreak of infectious diseases have turned ineffective as the Health Department is focusing its attention towards trivial matters.
“The state had witnessed an outbreak of dengue and other viral diseases in 2016 and ’17. This year, it was expected to carry out pre-monsoon activities to prevent and control the outbreak of infectious diseases across the state. But such activities were not being carried out effectively and we fear a similar outbreak might happen this year also,” he said.
Health Minister K K Shylaja said the government would take strict action against the striking doctors. “The strike is a challenge against the public and those doctors who fail to turn up for duty will face action,” the minister added.