Madurai

Do not increase working hours in PHCs: doctors

Doctors staging a protest at Government Medical Collage Hospital in Ramanathapuram on Monday.

Doctors staging a protest at Government Medical Collage Hospital in Ramanathapuram on Monday.

Virudhunagar

Members of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association staged a demonstration on Monday in front of medical college hospital here urging the State Government to withdraw a new government order that increased their working hours in Primary Health Centres.

The protest was led by TNGDA president K. Sugumar.

The working hours of PHCs, which was from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., was reduced to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. after repeated representation by doctors. The previous DMK government led by the then Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi reduced the working hours by an hour in 2009 following a recommendation made by an expert committee, said the association’s district chairman, R. Dhanapal.

But again the State Government has increased the working hours with effect from August 1, 2022. The workload of the PHC doctors has increased a lot in the last few years.

"We are the ones implementing various government programmes like Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam, school health programme," he said.

Stating that they were mandated to attend emergency calls after the working hours. They have to prepare a lot of reports of the schemes and take up COVID vaccination camps also.

While the world is moving towards less working hours for improved productivity, the increased working load will only reduce the work efficiency of doctors, he said.

The association criticised the Director of Public Health Selva Vinayagam for not implementing the Health Minister’s instruction to revoke the transfer of a doctor from Kanniyakumari. “The doctor was transferred unilaterally based on a complaint of Kanniyakumari Collector. After our representation, the Minister has asked him to revoke the transfer order. But, the DPH is not implementing it,” he added.

The association has threatened to intensify its protest if their demands are not immediately met.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 6:10:34 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/do-not-increase-working-hours-in-phcs-doctors/article65745808.ece