Health staff plan indefinite protest from Friday

 Over 60,000 employees of the Department of Health and Family Welfare Department will go on indefinite strike December 21 as the State government has allegedly not withdrawn 10 district hospitals from the Medical Education department.

Briefing reporters, Karnataka State Department of Health and Family Welfare Department Workers’ Union President Range Gowda said that the department of Medical Education was yet to relieve 144 doctors on deputation without following the criteria of system and seniority.

Union Honorary President Dr H N Ravindra threatened to lock all district hospitals, primary health centres, community centres and hand over the keys to district collectors.

“We want the group ‘D’ workers and 6,000 doctors deputed to the Medical Education department back in our department as there is an acute shortage,” he said.

The Union, which has sought the intervention of the chief minister, had held a meeting in Belgaum on December 13, with Health Minister Arvinda Limbavali and Department Principal Secretary Madan Gopal. There was, however, no representation from the Medical Education department,” said Dr Ravindra.

The employees have also been clamouring for payment of salary for the field medical staff and health inspectors at the Zilla Panchayat level, who have not been paid for the past four to six months.

Meanwhile, according to Limbavali, the government has already formed a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka along with Minister S A Ramdas and himself to resolve the issue.

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