Kerala government to deal striking doctors firmly, no discussion till protest withdrawn

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Kerala government to deal striking doctors firmly, no discussion till protest withdrawn

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ruled out discussions with the striking government doctors and directed the Health Minister KK Shailaja teacher to act firmly against the government doctors who are on agitation for the last four days. 

Government terms doctor' strike against people and against the government. Government has decided to terminate doctors on probation and transfer the striking doctors.

Kerala government decided to act against striking doctors firmly and single them out by building up social boycott. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ruled out discussions with the striking government doctors and directed the Health Minister KK Shailaja teacher to act firmly against the government doctors who are on agitation for the last four days.

The government viewed the flash strike organized by Kerala Government Medical Officers Association of grave nature violating the service rules. The government doctors announced strike after the Health Secretary issued circular extending outpatient hours from 9 am to 6 pm in 170 Primary Health Centers across the sate.

Government had appointed three doctors and additional para medical staff in these centres before extending the OP hours as part of Aardram Project executed in the state aiming to strengthen the primary health care system.

"Majority of the doctors welcomed the initiative. But a doctor in Kumaramputthur PHC revolted against the government decision and suspended the Out Patient wing at 1 pm on April 12. Government suspended the doctor and KGMOA declared flash strike in support of the doctor.

"The government doctors announced flash strike without giving a notice. The strike was motivated and against the poor people of Kerala who is benefitted by the medical support given by government. We will act firm and will not negotiate with the striking doctors," Health Minister KK Shailaja teacher told India Today. Around 4,300 government doctors are challenging the government decision and on strike in the state.

Government has decided to terminate doctors on probation and transfer the striking doctors. Chief Minister Pinarayi termed the strike as anti-people and anti-government.

"Our objective is to provide best care for the poor in Kerala. These striking doctors , majority of them had studied in government medical colleges are not showing their social responsibility . We will not yield to blackmailers," the Chief Minister told India Today.

Chief Minister and other senior ministers have left Thiruvananthapuram for CPM Party Congress in Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala demanded that the government should negotiate with striking doctors.

But few doctors came forward to disown the strike. Dr Shain Sha, who introduced novel health care system in Punalur government hospital, termed the strike as an oppressive measure against the poor.

In his Facebook post, doctor Shahin Sha appealed to doctor's community not to destabilize the dream of providing medical care to the poor.

Till 2017, PHC is Kerala functioned with single doctors. Pinarayi government decided to provide additional doctors and medical care professionals to provide best medical care facilities in PHCs.