Doctors Buckle Under Govt Pressure, Call Off Strike

Thiruvananthapuram : The four day medico strike that paralysed public healthcare system has been called off partly from public sentiment running against the fraternity but mainly out of stress from stern govt stand that warned stringent measures.

Opposed to their demand for rolling back prolonged consultation time, the doctors have now agreed to extend the outpatient (OP) consulting hours till 6 pm in family health centres on strength of three doctors.

Speaking to reporters, the Health minister KK Shailaja said the Kerala Govt Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) that led the agitation, has called off the strike and agreed to extend OP time in state-run hospitals.

“They have further assured their full support to ‘Ardram Mission” where three doctors will be appointed in each family health centre, she added.

The minister said, a reserve-team of doctors will be formed to facilitate substitution when doctors go on leave.

The ‘Ardram Mission’ envisages basic facilities to all hospitals in the state and aims to make public healthcare more patient-friendly.

Asked on revoking action of one doctor who was suspended following his refusal to report to work after govt announced extended timings, Shailaja said, it could be considered if he tendered an apology.

Doctors in public hospitals across the state went on unnotified strike protesting extension of OP consulting hours to 6 pm claiming it was unfair.

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