AIMIM demands invoking ESMA against striking medicos in AP

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Hyderabad, Dec 16 (UNI) The All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) today demanded that the Andhra Pradesh government invoke ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) against the striking doctors of government hospitals.

They also demanded that the government refrain from promulgating an ordinance for the protection of doctors at all Government hospitals, in the wake of the indefinite strike launched by the junior doctors in the state from yesterday.

Addressing the media here, AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi opined there was no need to promulgate an ordinance for the protection of doctors as they demanded. ''They are boycotting duty and flexing their muscles as part of their exercise to protest against the Centre's proposal to increase the MBBS course period to six-and-a-half years by making an year's rural posting compulsory.'' Accusing the State Government of trying to appease the doctors by conceeding their demands, he said employees of other departments would also demand an ordinance if the government went ahead with its decision taken last night.

Demanding that the State Government should invoke the provisions of the ESMA on the striking doctors if they did not call off their strike immediately, Mr Owaisi said the Government should table a white paper on the functioning of teaching hospitals, set up a house committee probe into the deaths in GHs and constitute an expert committee to go into the death of a baby girl in Niloufer Hospital on December 2.

Besides, the party would urge the Centre to cancel the degrees of the striking doctors, he added.

Accusing the doctors of forgetting their responsibilities and politicising every issue, Mr Owaisi demanded that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) conduct a study on the performance of GHs in 2007-08. ''The AIMIM will fight against the irresponsibility of the doctors at GHs and will not tolerate their blackmail tactics,''he said.

Charging the Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the BJP with supporting the doctors agitation, he said the doctors were communalising the issue, which would affect the poor.

It may be recalled that the junior doctors had launched an agitation from yesterday when a junior doctor was attacked by the relatives of a woman who died at a government hospital on December 14. They had resorted to agitation earlier when AIMIM MLA Afsar khan, along with his supporters, had allegedly roughed up the doctors at Niloufer Children's Hospital on December 2.


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