Authorities stands agency, docs name off strike

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The health service doctors in the state withdrew their indefinite agitation after a three-hour discussion with health minister , here on Monday night. The striking doctors were forced to sit at the negotiating table after the government toughened its stand earlier in the day. They agreed to end the strike without achieving any of their demands.
The government making evening OP compulsory at family health clinics was one of the reasons that triggered the strike. The taking the stand that discussions would be held only after the strike was called off, had left the doctors with very little manoeuvring space. Shailaja had also conveyed that strict action would be taken if the strike was not called off immediately.

Earlier, the state cabinet had urged the minister to act tough on the doctors for resorting to the strike without giving the mandatory notice.

This undoubtedly put the doctors under pressure and by evening they gave a letter to the minister expressing willingness to conduct evening OP with three doctors.

The minister finally agreed to convene the talks only after the chief minister’s office intervened. In fact, this turned out to be a face-saver for officers’ association (KGMOA).

“A committee headed by additional chief secretary (health) has been constituted to look into the demands. The doctors had demanded the revocation of the suspension of two doctors in Palakkad who failed to attend the duties. If they are willing to give a written undertaking that they will not repeat the mistake, then the government will reconsider the decision,” the health minister said after the talks.

The minister had earlier in the day said that the doctors were openly challenging the government and it would not be tolerated. “They went on strike without giving notice and they are putting the lives of innocent people at risk,” Shailaja had said. “We were only against the way the OP system was being implemented,” said KGMOA secretary Dr A K Raoof.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.