Protest against bond for compulsory rural service
The strike called by the joint action council of the various medical students' organisations was total in the Kottayam Government Medical College on Thursday.
The students, demanding cancellation of the bond for compulsory rural service, boycotted casualty and labour room service during the 24-hour strike.
Medical College Hospital Superintendent Tigy Thomas Jacob said none of the surgeries posted for the day were postponed on account of the strike. No complaints had been received from patients on account of the strike, he said.
Meanwhile, Medical College Principal A. Meharunnisa said that as per the government directive, the list of absentees has been send to the Director of Medical Education. Any disciplinary action would be taken at the State level, she said.
The striking students maintained that the compulsory rural service was part of the grand strategy to weaken the rural health service through adhocism. They were not against rural service, but it should be as permanent employees selected through the PSC. There were 1,200 vacancies in primary health centres to be filled, While 2,154 applicants had applied for the job. However, fewer than 700 posts were filled so far, they said.
“The government move is to fill the vacancies at the rural centres with students. This will have serious repercussions on the services being provided at the peripheral hospitals,” they said.
According to them, they were forced to take the extreme step of boycotting emergency services since the authorities had not even cared to initiate talks.