Staff Reporter

Protest against State government’s decision to dismiss three of their colleagues

Doctors held responsible for ‘chopping’ of palms of tribals

Doctors to abstain from duties from November 9

BHUBANESWAR: Members of the Orissa Medical Services Association (OMSA) on Monday tendered mass resignation protesting against the State government’s decision to dismiss three doctors, who performed ‘disarticulation’ of palms of the tribals killed in police firing at Kalinganagar on January 2, 2006.

Doctors working in government hospitals and other health institutions would abstain from duties from November 9. By Monday, 2,468 doctors sent their resignation letters to the association.

“Since several serious patients are under observation of our doctors, we cannot take a sudden decision to quit the office. During next six days we will try to discharge as many as patients and advise them to make their own arrangements,” OMSA president Madhusudan Mishra said here while addressing a press conference.

He said OMSA took the drastic step following the government decision’s to dismiss three doctors after holding them responsible for ‘chopping’ of palms of tribals.

‘Political decision’

“This is purely a political decision. The three doctors, who medically did no wrong, have been made sacrificial lambs in the controversial police firing that led to death of 14 tribals,” Dr. Mishra said.

OMSA questioned the whole process followed to hold three doctors as culprits. “The government has taken the decision on basis of a report submitted by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). However, the human rights body did not have technical expertise to judge if those three doctors had done any mistake,” OMSA president said.

He lashed out at the SHRC saying it did not even know the difference between ‘chopping’ and ‘disarticulation’, but it painted doctors as “barbaric and inhuman.”

OMSA members charged that three doctors were forced to perform the disarticulation as they did not belong to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (FMT) department, but they were from orthopaedic, surgery and anaesthesia branches.

Moreover, they vehemently argued that it was a conventional practice to disarticulate palms. Dr. Mishra alleged that State government ignored High Court’s directive on reinstatement of doctors.

Coming to other issues, OMSA president said the State government was not at all serious on restructuring of the cadre of medical services despite its repeated assurances. Similarly, doctors continued to face attacks in their workplace whereas the government had not made an attempt to formulate a policy for safety of doctors during their duty hours, he said.

Doctors demanded immediate reinstatement of three doctors, restructure of cadre and ensure of their safety in workplace. “In this situation we have no options left but to take path of non-violence by tendering mass resignation on November 3 and will not to come back to work from November 9 assuming that our resignations have been accepted if all these demands are not fulfilled by November 8,” OMSA announced.

Meanwhile Orissa Medical Teachers’ Association (OMTA) and Indian Medical Association (IMA) announced their support to decision of mass resignation. Representatives of these bodies said in due course they would also follow the suit if the government failed to address the concerns.