Thiruvananthapuram: The functioning of the Government Medical College Hospitals (MCHs) in Kerala has been crippled on Monday as the house surgeons in the state join the agitation currently being held by the medical PG students.
Large crowds were seen at the Out Patient sections of MCHs with many of the patients were sent back due to the lack of medical staff.
The house surgeons had announced that they would boycott official work on Monday (Dec 13) except for COVID-19 treatment and emergency duties. The Kerala Government Post Graduate Medical Teachers' Association is boycotting duty at the Out-Patient wing from 8 to 11 am. The surgeries scheduled for Monday have been postponed.
Medical college teachers and doctors have already expressed their support to students' agitation. They have warned the government that it will boycott duty, except emergency and casualty services, if the demands of the PG medical students are not met.
Govt won't budge
Meanwhile, the State Government is taking a tough posture with regard to the agitation of the PG students. The government is of the view that all reasonable demands made by the PG students have been met, and hence it is not willing to enter into any more dialogue with the striking students.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George has said that the government has nothing much to do with regard to the strike of the PG students.
She pointed out that the first-year medical PG admission issue was now under the consideration of the Supreme Court. She wondered why agitation was not withdrawn even after the government began steps to appoint 373 junior doctors in the State.
More associations lend support
With the strike by the medical PG students entering the 13th day, most of the organisations in the medical field have come up in support of the agitators.
Though the government is taking steps to appoint 373 junior doctors, the medical PG students are of the view that the existing shortage of doctors in the MCHs cannot be resolved by appointing merely one-third of the number of doctors actually required.
Meanwhile, Kerala Government Medical College Teachers' Association (KGMCTA) has urged the State Government to desist from moves to crush the agitation.
I would not be possible for the medical college doctors to handle the current heavy workload, KGMCTA president Dr S Binoy and secretary Dr Nirmal Bhaskar stated.
The SFI unit of the Government Nursing College has opposed the move to entrust nursing students with the work of the PG doctors. The DYFI State secretariat has termed the current strike by the PG doctors as unjust.
The indefinite standing strike (nilpu samaram) launched by the Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association (KGMOA) in front of the State secretariat has entered the 6th day. It is protesting against the alleged neglect of the interests of government doctors when the last pay revision was held.