THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The indefinite strike by the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) has brought health services to a near halt in 1,200 institutions across the state. The doctors defied the state government’s warning of strict action for their unauthorised absence. The KGMOA decided to intensify the agitation by extending it to inpatient services as well from Saturday.
At the moment, barring casualty, all other services have been badly affected. The government is trying to make alternative arrangements in medical college hospitals to provide relief to the patients. The KGMOA claimed that over 4,000 doctors were on strike. KGMOA state secretary Dr V. Jithesh said the general body meetings held in the districts on Saturday had decided to intensify the strike. He alleged that instead of holding discussions with doctors, the government was resorting to provocative actions.
The government has threatened to terminate the services of 1,200 probationary doctors. “These are the junior doctors who discharge duties in many areas, especially in remote places, casualty wings and perform other general duties. If they terminate the services of probationary doctors, all other members of the association will resort to mass resignation,” he added.
Dr Jithesh said the four main office-bearers of the association based in different parts of the state have been camping here since Friday. “We all are present here to hold discussions with the government even at a short notice,” he added. As most health department hospitals cater to the poor sections of society, who cannot afford treatment in private sector, they have been the worst-hit. The casualty wings are taking not just emergency cases, but even general patients in view of the strike. Normally, casualty wing has just one doctor, but considering the patient rush even KGMOA has agreed to deploy four to five medical officers to meet the patient load.
The KGMOA reiterated that they would call off the strike if the government revoked the suspension of their member from Palakkad and keep the order extending the OP timings in abeyance. The doctors said they do not want to prolong the strike in view of the problems being faced by poor patients....