Thiruvananthapuram: The junior doctors in Kerala's government medical and dental colleges have called off their strike. The strike was withdrawn Monday night after the government promised to revise some provisions in the existing bond system.
As per the new proposals, the term of the compulsory service to be offered by those who finished their post graduation has been reduced to six months from one year. Those who have finished their training in specialty courses have to undergo only one year of compulsory service.
Earlier, state health minister K K Shylaja had come out with a stern warning to the striking doctors. The minister said that the junior doctors are taking their responsibilities for a ride by striking even after their demands have been 'accepted'.
Speaking to the media, the minister also added that the striking dcotors and their parents should 'consider the adverse consequences to their educational and professional future' before continuig with the strike.
PG medical students, house surgeons and MBBS students had stayed off duty from Friday protesting the government decision to raise the retirement age of doctors and against the existing bond system.
The striking medicos had met the health minister on Sunday. After the meeting the representatives had announced that the strike was being withdrawn.
But things took a sharp turn as the Kerala Medicos Joint Action Council (KMJAC), whose representatives had met the health minister, was disbanded.
The new leadership, representing the three organizations under the KMJAC, had announced that they will go ahead with the strike as no valid guarantee had been given to ensure that the demands of the medicos will be considered.
Meeting creates discord
The junior doctors, who had announced an indefinite strike from Friday had also conducted a one-day strike earlier in December. The striking doctors boycotted the wards and outpatient departments, though they were still attending to patients in the casualty section.
The health minister had stuck down demands for revising the order increasing the pension age but reportedly agreed to expedite the appointment process and create more vacancies to compensate for the loss of job opportunities.
Kerala government has issued orders raising the retirement age of doctors in the Kerala health services from 56 to 60. The pensionable age of doctors teaching in medical institutions has been raised from 60 to 62 raising apprehensions among the young doctors about a possible fall in employment opportunities.