Thiruvanathapuram: The indefinite strike called by medical college students of Kerala was called off on Saturday after the Health Minister, KK Shylaja promised the protestors that he would table the increase in retirement age issue before the cabinet. The Kerala Medicos Joint Action Council, however, stated that other protest measures would continue till a decision in their favour was taken by the government.
The Health Department meanwhile expressed regret that the committee constituted to take a decision on medical college student bonds had not been able to follow up on the issue after the first round of parleys. The committee is expected to meet on January 4. A decision on the bonds is likely to be taken in the coming days.
In an effort to avoid doctor appointment delays to the state health service the health department will also be working on the possibility of putting in place a recruitment test on the line of the Union Public Service Commission. The medical education department will conduct exams as per norms of the Indian Medical Council.
The minister also assured the doctors’ rectification of eligibility criteria problems for the entry level cadre. A medical recruitment board might be introduced by the government if inordinate delays in the health department appointments do not come to an end.
The minister further stated that new positions would be created in accordance with the rise in population. The minister also assured that measures to take in medical pass out immediately after their completion of courses, reports Manorama.
The doctors’ association said that the stir would continue if the government failed to resolve their problems.
In an earlier story Medical Dialogues team reported that the Kerala Medicos Joint Action Council’s (KMJAC), threatened protest against the government’s decision to increase the retirement age of doctors had turned into reality on December 19, when Medical students — undergraduates, house surgeons and postgraduates — in state government medical colleges went on a strike from work and studies to express their opposition to the government’s decision.
A November 28 order of the government had hiked the retirement age of doctors in medical education service from 60 to 62 years and that of doctors in the health service from 56 to 60 years.