THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after a section of doctors under the banner of Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) called for an indefinite protest, Health Minister K K Shylaja on Friday said the protest was illegal.Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan also issued a circular saying disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against the striking doctors. He also instructed the Director of Health Services R L Saritha to ensure the action is taken against striking doctors.
“Doctors who didn’t appear for duty without prior permission will be considered as unauthorised absentees and will not be eligible for getting salary for the particular day. Their absence will also be considered as a break-in-service. The Health Director will have to ensure the same is duly marked in the SPARK software. This will be considered for their salary, promotion and future transfer,” read the circular. In the case of assistant surgeons on probation, the circular said if they were absent with out authorisation on the day, they will be served a show-cause notice asking why their service shouldn’t be terminated.
“If they didn’t resume service within 24 hours, the director should initiate proceedings to terminate their service,” it said.The circular also talked tough on doctors working in various hospitals in work arrangement and accommodation basis, saying if such doctors were part of the protest, they will have to be immediately returned to their parent organisations.
‘Won’t back down’
KGMOA secretary Jithesh V said the association and the striking doctors will not succumb to the government’s pressure tactics. “If the department initiates action against any doctor, the protest will be intensified and the government will be solely responsible for the consequences.”