Thiruvanathapuram: The indefinite strike by Junior doctors of medical colleges against an increase in retirement age tough withdrawn on Sunday after the state government offered to create more entry-level posts has been resumed on Monday as the resident doctors don’t seem quite satisfied with Health Minister, KK Shylaja’s assurances.
The office-bearers of the Medicos Joint Action Council, representing the medical students in Kerala, had earlier informed that the issues have been resolved and the stir has been withdrawn. On Monday however, they informed that the agitation would continue and office bearers would be removed from their post.Following this, the office-bearers Dr. Rahul, Dr. Midhun Mohan, PG Association, President Muneer, Secretary Rohit Krishna were removed from the posts.
The junior doctors had demanded the withdrawal of the increased pension age bar, the creation of more posts, reduction in the bond period and speeding up of the promotion process.
But they alleged that the government has not yielded to their demands.
Dr Muneer had said that Minister Shailaja had informed that this government decision will not affect the junior doctors and PG doctors.The minister is believed to have given an assurance that the number of senior resident doctor posts will be increased so that the junior doctors can enter government service after the completion of PG course.
PSC will be asked to accelerate the appointment process, she had added.
Meanwhile, on Sunday after the decision to call off the strike was taken, Rajeev Sadanandan, Principal Secretary, Health was supposed to hold talks with junior doctors on their demand for reduction in the 3-year bond for students, on clearance of their PG courses.
Furthermore, at the ministerial meeting with Health Minister, K. K. Shailaja it was decided that 44 doctors who were to retire this year and 16 the next, would continue to serve.
The health department has already created 175 new posts, and more will follow under the Aardram project, besides a dental wing, the Minister had said.
The agitators had asked for more PG seats, despite a significant increase made last year. The government would consider their demands in this regard, the Minister had said. The strike against pension age being increased from 60 to 62, while on, had seriously hit the outpatient (OP) and inpatient (IP) services. Meanwhile, work had remained normal in the casualty, emergency services, ICUs, and labour rooms.The doctors said that after the 2009 increase in retirement age, from 55 to 60, an assurance had been given by the then health minister that there would no further increase in retirement age.
Other doctor organizations like Kerala Government Medical College Association (KGMCTA) have also raised their voices against the decision, as they feel that the promotion prospects of lower and middle-level faculty would be affected due retirement age being pushed up further.
The government has also decided to discuss forming a special rule based on the demand to make assistant professors, the entry cadre, reports Deccan Chronicle.
In an earlier story done by the Medical Dialogues team it was reported that the Kerala Medicos Joint Action Council’s (KMJAC),threatened protest against the government’s decision to increase the retirement age of doctors turned into reality on December 19, when Medical students — undergraduates, house surgeons, and postgraduates — in the state government medical colleges had gone on a strike from work and studies to express their opposition to the government’s decision.