Govt to counter doctors’ strike; to cut off salary, impose break in service

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government is all set to counter the indefinite strike of government doctors against extension of Out-Patient (OP) time and suspension of a doctor. The government in a circular issued by Health and Family welfare department declared that the strike will be considered as illegal. The circular also noted that salary of the days in which the doctors hold strike will be deducted. Those who took part in the strike will be treated as under break in service.

“Salary cut and break in service will be recorded by health department director and it will be considered while approving salary, promotion and transfer of the doctors,” says the circular.

If an assistant surgeon who is on probation takes break from service without taking leave, a showcause notice will be issued against him before terminating him from service. It has been informed that if any doctors are not joining on duty within 24 hours, the department will take action to terminate him or her from service.

Health department additional chief secretary Rajeev Sadananadan has issued the circular.

The circular noted that the doctors are obliged to treat patients as if working in an emergency service and hence suspending service without notice is illegal.

The Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) had called for the agitation last night to protest against the decision to extend the OP time in hospitals from 9 AM to 6 PM. Earlier, the timing for the same was up to noon.Patients visiting the hospitals since early today were clueless about the stir.

A statement from the KGMOA said only the casualty wing would function during the strike and in-patient treatment would be provided only till April 18.

There would not be any new admission, it said, adding that only emergency operations would be performed.

The association said temporary doctors also want to be made permanent.

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