Government doctors, on a non-cooperation strike in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts since last Thursday, have said that they will not take up any VIP duties, including any assignments that they may be given in connection with the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the State later this week.

Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) president O. Vasudevan told presspersons here on Sunday that the doctors had made known their decision to stay away from VIP duties well in advance.

If any action was taken against those who did not take up VIP duties, the doctors would intensify their agitation and take direct action, Dr. Vasudevan said.

He said the doctors would continue their non-cooperation stir until their demands were met. The demands included revocation of the “unjustifiable order transferring doctors in connection with the Satnam Singh issue.”

The doctors also demanded the removal of the Additional Director (Vigilance) from the post.

The KGMOA alleged that the official misled the government and the people on the Satnam Singh issue.

Dr. Vasudevan, accompanied by his colleague Varghese Abraham, joint secretary, said the doctors would go on a token strike across the State on September 27. They also threatened to launch an indefinite strike from October 1.

The doctors said they should not be blamed if they were forced to take direct action, which would put the people seeking medical aid to great difficulty.

The KGMOA office-bearers claimed that the State government had conceded that the investigation into Satnam Singh’s death was flawed and the findings were not true. However, the government had gone ahead with punishing the doctors, they said.

The government doctors raised the issue of the attack on a physician at the Rajakumari (Idukki) primary health centre recently. The culprits had not been punished, they said.

Dr. Vasudevan said there was a severe shortage of government doctors, and the government should act immediately to fill at least 1,000 vacancies.

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