THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Medical Joint Action Council has threatened to launch work-to-rule agitation if the state government failed to roll back its decision to increase retirement age from 60 to 62. KMJAC president U.R Rahul said the representatives of doctors met health minister K.K. Shylaja and conveyed their strong resentment. The doctors have sought an appointment with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to demand the withdrawal of the decision.
The junior doctors on Tuesday organised demonstrations across government medical colleges to protest the government decision. In Thiruvananthapuram, undergraduate students, PG students and house surgeons took out a procession from medical college principal’s office to the directorate of medical education. Similar protest marches were held in other government medical colleges also.
The JAC threatened to intensify the agitation in support of their demands: withdrawal of the decision on retirement age , creation of posts commensurate with increase in patient load, appointment of doctors on regular basis in both medical education and health service departments and abolition of the bond system.
The council said about 2000 doctors were awaiting appointment to the post of assistant surgeon in the state health department and more than 200 doctors under the directorate of medical education. Around 3500 doctors pass out of medical colleges in the state annually and an equal number of medicos come in from outside the states. The JAC said the increase in retirement age would severely hamper their job prospects.
The representatives of doctors have met leaders of various political parties to seek support for their demands. The JAC had recently launched an intensive campaign on medical college campuses to create awareness about the adverse impact of the retirement age increase decision on the job prospects especially at the entry grade level and promotion chances of the junior faculty.