Govt doctors threaten stir from Dec 21

Government medical officers and employees from all cadres of the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services have decided to go on an indefinite strike in the State from December 21 — if the State government failed to address their long-pending problems and demands by December 20.

Announcing the decision to reporters here on Friday, Dr H N Ravindra, the State honorary president of the Karnataka State Health Department Officers and Employees’ Welfare Protection Committee said it has been unanimously decided to lock all government health establishments — from primary health centres to district hospitals.

All keys to these facilities will be handed over to the deputy commissioners of the respective districts from December 21.

The protesters expect to bring all the health and medical services including the emergency services to grinding halt. Besides health services, the administration in the department will also come to a halt all over the State.

Invoking ESMA

“This will be the decisive struggle. Let them invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against us and terminate our services.

We are ready to face the consequences. But for the havoc that would be created due to closing of all government health establishments, the State government alone will be responsible,” Dr Ravindra said.

He added that government medical officers and other staff have been subjected to a grave injustice due to the conversion of district general hospitals into autonomous institutions by the Medical Education Department.

This has deprived opportunities for medical officers serving in rural areas to come to district headquarters and serve, he claimed.

Dr Ravindra also said that the government was not doing anything to help the situation except give false assurances.

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