Kerala doctors call off strike, govt agrees to extended out-patient timings

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

Alternative arrangements will be ensured in instances where a doctor has to abstain from duty due to various reasons.

According to reports the doctors have agreed to tow the government line and has nodded to extend the outpatient consultation hours till 6 pm in family health centres with a strength of three doctors.

Ending four days of uncertainty in the public health sector, the Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association (KGMOA) called off its strike on Monday night.

The attempt was to defeat the government's "Ardram Mission" which envisages basic facilities to all hospitals in the State and making government hospitals patient-friendly, she said.

Shailaja added that the government will consider reversing the suspension of the Palakkad doctor if he apologises.

The government had in the morning hardened its stand, saying action would be taken if the strike is not withdrawn.

Later in the evening, the KGMOA submitted letters to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Heath Minister expressing that they were ready for discussions.

Earlier the government had insisted that there will be no talks before the strike was called off.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, today said the government should immediately hold talks with the striking doctors to end the impasse.

The doctors had launched the indefinite stir on April 13 protesting the extension of (OP) time in government hospitals.

The services of post-graduate doctors and house surgeons are being used by the government to attend to patients visiting OPs.

Medical college hospitals are not participating in the strike.

However, KGMOA, secretary, Dr Jitesh V said she was suffering from a respiratory infection and she was given medicines and sent back home on Sunday. "They have gone on strike without giving notice", she said.

The body was brought to the hospital on Monday and the association has suggested that autopsy be performed to find out if there was any negligence.

The Kerala Human Rights Commission has asked the the government to take immediate steps to resolve the issue as it was the common people who were facing hardships.

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