Jr doctors continue strike in AP

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Hyderabad, Dec 18 (UNI) Junior doctors in Andhra Pradesh are continuing with their four-day-old strike, notwithstanding a warning from Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to invoke provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) if they did not report for duty tomorrow morning.

Talking to newspersons here after a meeting at Osmania general hospital, a representative of the junior doctors D Vinay said they had decided to continue with the strike until the Government deploys Special Protection Force (SPF) personnel at all Government teaching hosptials and arrests the two MLAs - Afsar Khan and Ahmed Pasha Khadri - for attacking junior doctors at Niloufer Children Hospital and Nayapool Maternity Hosptial on December two and 14 respectively.'' Alleging that the State Government was not taking action against the MLAs and wanted to invoke ESMA against the junior doctors, he said that as junior doctors were not public servants, they would not come under the purview of ESMA.

Conceding the main demand of the striking junior doctors, the State Government had yesterday ratified the promulgation of an ordinance for protection of doctors from attacks at Government and private hospitals, making assault on doctors a non-bailable offence.

UNI

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