Government doctors, under the banner of Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA), are preparing to go on the warpath against the government’s alleged neglect of the Health Services which has resulted in over 700 vacancies of doctors.

To protest against the government’s alleged disregard for the concerns of the doctors, members of the State executive of the KGMOA will stage a dharna in front of the office of the Director of Health Services here from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 14, said a statement issued by the KGMOA here on Thursday.

Acute shortage

With over 700 vacancies in the Health Services, shortage of doctors has become acute in the districts of Kasaragod, Wayanad, Palakkad, and Idukki. Despite the government declaring a special incentive package for doctors to work in rural areas in these districts, over 40 per cent of the posts of doctors continue to be vacant there, the KGMOA said.

No special recruitment

The government has made no attempt to conduct district-level special recruitments to meet the shortage of doctors in these districts. The declaration of the government that 250 new posts of assistant surgeons would be created has not materialised, the KGMOA said.

It rued that promotion posts had become scarce in the Health Services because of the inherent anomalies in the manner in which the Specialty and Administrative cadres were implemented. It pointed out that there was no uniform staff pattern in taluk hospitals.

Mob attacks

The KGMOA took exception to the manner in which the government had been soft-pedalling the issue of handling cases of mob attacks on doctors and hospitals under the Kerala Health Service Persons and Healthcare Services Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act 2012, which would invite imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to Rs.50,000.

In Idukki, Palakkad, and Kasaragod, the police adopt a negative stance when it comes to charging cases against those who unleash violence against doctors and hospitals.

The government doctors, besides their work burden, are forced to contend with the lack of safety in workplaces, the KGMOA said.

It said the government’s assurance about one-and-a-half years ago on resolving the anomalies in the pay revision of doctors was still tangled in red tape.

The government is yet to hold discussions with the KGMOA on various issues concerning the doctors in the Health Services, it said.

An emergency State committee meeting will be held on November 14 when the KGMOA will discuss the further course of agitation, the statement said.

  • KGMOA alleges neglect of Health Services

  • Cites over 700 vacant posts of doctor