Government doctors of Tamil Nadu announce strike from Oct. 25

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Last Updated on October 21, 2019 by The Health Master

The Federation of Government Doctors Associations has announced an indefinite strike from October 25, saying its members will boycott all work barring emergencies.

Department says no leave from Monday

The doctors, demanding an increase in salaries, quota in medical education and appointment of more doctors as promised in August, will remain on duty in emergency wards, labour wards, ICUs and cathlabs for emergencies, said the federation, a group of five associations. Outpatient services, surgeries and inpatient treatment will not be done until all issues are resolved, it said.

Director of medical education Dr A Narayanababu, meanwhile, put out a circular asking all deans and heads of institutions not to grant any leave to doctors from October 21. “Absence … without prior sanction will be treated as unauthorised and allowances on pay will be on the basis of no work no pay,” he said, adding that absence will be considered as break in service. 

Dr Narayanababu also asked for a daily report on attendance from deans and heads along with action taken report on email by 9.30am from Sunday.

“We are going ahead with the strike only after giving adequate time to the government. We also want government to appoint more doctors as per MCI norms, give us 50% service quota in medical education and conduct proper counselling before transfer of service post graduates. At least 13,000 of the 18,000 doctors agreed to support us,” said Dr A Ramalingam of the Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association.

In August, after six doctors staged a five-day fast, health minister C Vijayabaskar promised that all demands, including salary hike, would be met in six weeks. Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society project director Dr K Senthil Raj was named special officer to look into the demands.

On October 9, federation members met health secretary Beela Rajesh and said there was no progress. “We said we will strike work from October 25 because the government told us it will not be able to make any announcement till October 24 as the moral code of conduct was in force,” a doctor said.

The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association will go on a 48-hour strike from October 30, with president Dr K Senthil saying central government doctors were promoted in the 4th, 9th and 13th years. “We get their fourth-year salary in our 15th year and their 13th year salary in our 20th year. We work hard to keep Tamil Nadu’s health indices high, but we don’t reap benefits.”