Doctors to continue strike until government accepts demands

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 9 (UNI) With the Kerala government announcing that it would implement specialty and administrative cadres in the Health Department as a move to settle the ongoing agitation of the doctors in the state, the striking medicos today made it clear that they would continue their strike until the government meets their demands.

''The announcement is unilateral and the government has not made any discussions with the doctors before announcing the package,'' Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMO) State President Dr Sunny told UNI.

''The special package is only to 'hoodwink' both the public and the doctor community,'' he added.

The Government had not considered KGMO's main demand of hike in the salary of the doctors in the entry cadre, he pointed out.

He also alleged that the Government had failed to take a decision on the report submitted by the eight-member committee, headed by State Health Secretary Biswas Metha, though it was submitted six months back.

The KGMO was ready for talks with the Government to settle the issue, he added.

Earlier, announcing the special package at a press conference here, Kerala Health Minister P K Sreemathy said with the package, approved by the Cabinet, which included creation of new posts and implementation of specialty administrative cadres, the government would have an additional commitment of Rs 25 crore a year.

The Minister also urged the striking KGMO to call off the strike as the government had met majority of their demands.

However, the Government could not do anything on the demand for revision of pay-scales as salary hike for a particular section of the employees was not possible, she added.

Meanwhile, Indian Medical Association also extended full support to the KGMO and warned that if the government did not settle the issue they would also join the strike.

Over 1,600 doctors, serving district and taluk hospitals and primary health centers, had been on a work-to-rule by boycotting all kinds of special duties.

Several rounds of discussions held by the government with the KGMO had failed to settle the agitation.

UNI

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