Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has expressed concern at the impact of the ongoing doctors’ strike on the health sector and urged the State government to create the necessary conditions for the withdrawal of the stir.

In a statement here, Mr. Chandy said the 42-day stir had brought several health projects, including the National Rural Health Mission work, to a halt.

The stir had affected at least 17 health projects, including Women and Child welfare schemes and follow-up activities against infectious diseases. “The impact of this derailment will be long lasting,” he said.

He said Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy should realise the ground realities even though she claimed that the stir had not affected the people.

‘Fulfil promises’

The Minister had failed to fulfil the promises given last year when the doctors went on a 150-day stir. The report of the expert committee, headed by the Health Secretary, on pay revision of doctors had been neglected.

At the time of implementing pay revision for government employees during the United Democratic Front (UDF) rule, the government was aware of the issues related to government doctors. However, these could not be taken up because the Assembly elections were announced.

The High Court had delivered a verdict that only the pay commission report need be implemented. That was why the UDF government could not give special attention to the issues of doctors.

Mr. Chandy said the world renowned Kerala model of health care was facing a number of challenges. The State was in the grip of recurring infectious diseases. More than 10 lakh people were affected in the recent bout of viral fever and several thousands died.

The rural areas were still in the grip of viral fever. If the Government continued to be lackadaisical in handling the health sector, the impact would be far more serious, Mr. Chandy warned.

More In: Today's Paper