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The Federation of Government Doctors Association doctors in Tamil Nadu will boycott work in definitely including outpatient and inpatient treatment excluding emergencies from 25th October 2019. Almost 13,000 government doctors of the association will join the strike.
The formal and informal talks with the state health department about their demand for increase in salaries, quota in medical education and appointment of more doctors have been futile, the federation of five associations have announced that there is no other option but to go on strike.
In the meantime, directors of public health, medical education and medical services notified staff that leaves will be considered ‘unauthorized absence’ and ‘break in service’. Allowances on pay will be on the basis of ‘no work no pay’.
Dr K Kolandaswamy said that there is a fever outbreak and there are increasing dengue cases. If MBBS doctors go on leave, it will take at least another two years for them to be eligible for PG studies. If there is a break in service, there will be a delay in increments and promotions at medical colleges and district headquarters hospitals, also. He has asked for a daily report on attendance from deans and heads along with action taken by 9.30am from Sunday. The DME has issued circulars warning doctors about the consequences of this strike.
On Thursday, the federation said that government doctors will remain on duty in emergency wards, labor wards, ICUs and cathlabs for emergency treatment. Dr A Ramalingam of the Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association, said that all outpatient services, surgeries and inpatient treatment will not be done until the government resolves issues.
It has been over a decade, doctors have been asking the government to implement the prospective clause of government order 354, that promises time-bound promotion in 5, 9, 11 and 12 years of service. In August, health minister C Vijayabaskar said that the state had appointed Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society project director Dr K Senthil Raj as a special officer to look into doctors’ demands and also promised a review once every two weeks.
Doctors from the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association, who are not a part of the federation, also will go on a 48-hour strike from October 30.