Medical Colleges in jeopardy, Surgeries postponed, OP patients sent back

Medical Colleges in jeopardy, Surgeries postponed, OP patients sent back

Thiruvananthapuram: With the PG doctors' strike entering its fourth day in the state, the functioning of medical colleges is in a state of disarray. As part of the efforts to intensify the strike, PG doctors marched to the Secretariat of Kerala today. House surgeons are also on a 24-hour boycott today in solidarity with the strike. Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Veena George, has called on house surgeons to discuss the ongoing strike.

According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Department, there will be no further discussions with PG doctors. The PG Doctors' Association however has decided to intensify the protest. House surgeons say they will not boycott emergency and Covid duties, but with the strike, the functioning of medical colleges has become more critical.

The issues raised by the house surgeons are that the workload has doubled following the PG strike and the earlier stipend increase has not been reinstated. They are also on a boycott today from 8 am, except for Covid duty and emergency cases.

Meanwhile, interviews for non-academic junior resident doctors to be hired by the government are taking place in medical colleges today. But the protesters points out that the number of junior doctors set by the government is inadequate.

A dire situation exists at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. There is a long queue of patients in many places. Fewer than half of the medical college OPs have doctors. Many surgeries were postponed due to the huge congestion in the OPs. Many patients had to be sent back by the hospital authorities.

Today, only senior doctors are attending to patients in the OP of Kozhikode Medical College Hospital. Some patients were sent back without treatment, the OP however is still crowded. Officials say many of the scheduled surgeries will have to be changed.

Doctors are intensifying their protest, demanding that despite the crisis in medical colleges, there is no attempt on the part of the government to address the problem. Minister Veena George has said that the government has no choice. For the first time in history, NAJR’s were appointed to ensure that people are attended to.

Veena George responded that she had asked the State Department of Finance to increase the stipend. But PG doctors and others say the government has been making these assurances for some time and is nothing but verbal assurances.

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