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Talks fail; doctors to continue strike

Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: The government doctors have decided to continue their non-cooperation strike as the fresh round of talks between them and Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy held here on Wednesday failed to reach an amicable settlement.

The third round of talks between the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) and Ms. Sreemathy failed to make any headway as the government reiterated its stand that the basic pay scales of doctors cannot be revised.

The meeting was convened by Ms. Sreemathy to officially inform KGMOA about the ‘special package’ for doctors and the implementation of the speciality and administrative cadres that the Cabinet had approved last week.

The KGMOA, however, maintained that their demand had always been the revision of pay scales at the entry cadre. Hiking allowances would in no way be compensation enough for doctors because that would not benefit the class as a whole, they said. With the Sabarimala season beginning on November 15, the continuing strike by doctors could pose a problem. The doctors’ association had made it clear that they would not report for Sabarimala duty.

Ms. Sreemathy, later, said the government had made alternative arrangements for Sabarimala. She also said the government would have to take strict action against doctors if the strike in any way began to affect the functioning of government hospitals.

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