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Saturday, January 29, 2011

DME Warns to Take Action Against Striking Doctors


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the indefinite strike by post graduate medical students in government medical college hospitals (MCHs) entered the third day yesterday Director of Medical Education (DME) day issued an ultimatum to them to report for duty within 24 hours. In her circular, DME Dr Geetha directed the principals of five MCHs to take action against the PG students if they failed to comply with the order.
The PG students, known as "PG Doctors" in local parlance and whose services are utilised in running OP and casualty wings of the MCHs, had gone on the strike to press their demands including the roll back of the increase in the annual fee from Rs.36,000 to Rs.46,000.
Meanwhile, Health Minister PK Sreemathy said stern action would be taken against the House Surgeons, many of whom stayed away from duty pledging solidarity with the PG Doctors yesterday.
"House surgency meant internship and the internees are not supposed to strike. Action would be taken against them if they continue to stay away" Sreemathi told reporters.
Meanwhile the functioning of five medical colleges in the state was affected yesterday on the strike.
Along with the PG students, house surgeons and senior resident doctors also joined the strike, which had worsened the situation.
Reports from various districts said the out-patients and emergency departments were the most affected as an impact of the strike. The functioning of these departments at the Thiruvananthpuram Medical College was affected. A report from Kottayam said that the strike had affected functioning of the Kottayam Medical College also.
A report from Kozhikode said functioning of Kozhikode Medical College, was badly affected. Sources said rush of patients was curtailed as the local health and community centres stopped referring cases to the premier medical institution. Sources, however, said doctors from other departments and teaching staff were manning departments such as casualty and OP.
Even though Kerala Health Minister PK Sreemathi had held talks with representatives of Kerala Medical Postgraduates Association (KMPGA), which had called for the strike, a solution could not be arrived at.
The KMPGA said the medicos would continue their strike as the minister could not give them any positive decision on any of the issues being raised by them. Other demands of PG doctors include better accommodation facilities at hospitals and enhancement of stipend.

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