Naveen announces benefits for striking doctors

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 17 (UNI) Ahead of mass resignation threat of the agitating Orissa doctors, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced several benefits in the state assembly to avoid a possible collapse of health services system on from March 19.

Over 2100 doctors belonging to the Orissa Medical Services cadre had submitted their mass resignation on February 18 last in support of their demand with the condition that their resignation be treated as effective from March 19, 2008.

The doctors have even stopped admitting patients in the hospital for treatment in view of the mass resignation threat. The issue also rocked the ongoing state assembly with the members, cutting across party lines, urged the government to consider their demands sympathetically and resolve the issue.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who made a statement in the house today, announced that the entry level scale of the Assistant Surgeons will be treated as junior Class I scale in Rs 8000-Rs 13,5000 and the cadre would be restructured within two months to create sufficient promotional posts at different levels.

He further said a new legislation would be introduced to prohibit the violence against medicare service persons and damage to the property in medicare service institutions.

The Chief Minister also announced that a rational transfer policy would be worked out with inputs from the Orissa Medical Services Association(OMSA) and other stakeholders in two months.

This apart, the state government decided to provide a special allowance of Rs 3000 per month to the all the doctors of OMSA holding the specialist posts.

After announcing the series of benefits, Mr Patnaik appealed to the doctors to continue their work to avoid any disruption of the healthcare services in the state.

The doctors have demanded a hike in the entry level pay scale, time scale promotion, reducing in the year of qualifying service for pension, hike of specialist allowance, transfer policy and security at work.

The Chief Minister said the government was deeply committed to improve the health care status of the people of the state by providing adequate funds, human resources and infrastructure by improving the implementation of various programmes.

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