AP Govt invokes ESMA against Jr doctors, prohibits strike

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Hyderabad, Dec 19 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Government today invoked provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the striking junior doctors, prohibiting them from resorting to strike for a period of six months with immediate effect.

State Health, Medical and Family Welfare Principal Secretary P K Agarwal, in a release here, said the department had issued a Government Order, declaring the services of junior doctors connected with medical education as essential service for the purpose of ESMA.

With this, the junior doctors were prohibited to resort to strikes for a period of six months.

He said the junior doctors -- internees and post graduate students of Government medical and dental colleges and hospitals governed by Medical education -- were declared as essential services in public interest.

The junior doctors, who had boycotted duty since December 14, were continuing with their stir at all Government teaching hosptials, despite the Government setting a deadline of today for them to resume duty and warning that the ESMA would otherwise be invoked.

Meanwhile, city Additional Commissioner of Police Surendra Babu said a 20-member Armed Reservce (AR) police team under the supervision of a Sub-Inspector would be deployed at every Government teaching hosptial in the city. The force would be deployed at Gandhi, Osmania, Niloufer, Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and Nayapool Maternity and Sultan Bazaar Government teaching hospitals immediately.

The junior doctors were demanding that the Government give a written undertaking that Special Protection Force (SPF) security would be provided at all Government Hospitals.

UNI

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