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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 12:43 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 12:43 AM (IST)

State govt threatens action against protesting medicos

Samaan Lateef

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 13

The state government has threatened action against doctors who are abstaining from their duties in protest against non-payment of monetary benefits for extra work and night duties.

The government warning has come after the doctors abstained from their duties on gazetted holidays in June to seek monthly monetary benefits as being paid to employees of other essential services.

“The doctors are now resorting to strikes and wilful absence from their legitimate duties for one or the other reason. The reason may be justified but the mode of protest adopted by them in declining to discharge their duties of attending patients, administering medical treatment to them and make efforts to save lives of serious patients cannot be accepted for any reason whatsoever,” reads a circular issued by the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir.

The doctors have been demanding two-and-a-half-day salary for the night duties and extra work they put in the hospitals.

The circular says the government has already constituted a high-level committee to look into the demands of the doctors but suo motu they cannot start deviating from the established practice of patient care and abstain from work on gazetted holidays.

“Self-proclamation of holiday and abstinence from work is an utter disregard to the administration and the government,” it said.

Quoting various court rulings which prevent doctors from abstaining from their duties, the government said all doctors should make their services available to the needy patients as per the past practice till the government decides upon the various issues raised by them.

“Any misconduct, absenteeism, strike or non-attending of duties shall be taken under the relevant laws and rules,” it said.

However, the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has criticised the government for threatening them by invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act.

“The doctors are not on strike but are availing gazetted holidays as applicable to all government employees. The doctors are giving over 72 hours of monthly harsh night duties and unlike other employees are not being paid for it,” said DAK president Suhail Naik.

Naik asked the government to refrain from issuing statements which could lead to law and order problem. He said the doctors would continue to avail gazetted holidays until the government comes up with a concrete plan for compensating them.

Docs abstained from duties on holidays

The state government warning has come after the doctors abstained from their duties on gazetted holidays in June to seek monthly monetary benefits as being paid to employees of other essential services.

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