J&K Govt invokes ESMA: 3 docs terminated, 33 suspended


The state government has decided to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to deal with the strike called by the doctors for the pay hike in various health institutions of the state.

At least 33 doctors were suspended and terminating three of them after they were found absent from duty in the past two days.

“The government can’t allow the hapless patients to suffer. In order to ensure that there is no disruption to healthcare services, it has been decided that ESMA would be invoked to deal with the strike called by the medicos,” said a government spokesperson, quoting a senior officer in the Health and Medical Education Department.

He said ensuring adequate healthcare services had become more imperative especially in view of the flood alert sounded by the government due to the inclement weather conditions.

The Principal of the Medical College Srinagar today (order No. AR-MC/R/D/PG/1477-1500/MC dated 04-07-2018) terminated three doctors including president of the Resident Doctors Association, Dr Irfan Qayoom Mir and its two members Dr Aijaz Baba and Dr Ramiz and suspended 33 doctors mostly RDA members to deal with the striking doctors while as relieved one doctor. The doctors in response resigned en-mass through Resident Doctors Association.

In her order, Dr Samia said that the striking doctors were directed vide (Order No. Acad/1469-71/MC Dated 04-07-2018) to resume the duties but they didn’t respond to the order.

The order said that the doctors Administrative department has already issued orders for the implementation of the 7th Pay commission benefits for the Resident Doctors but they submitted another representation that they are being paid salaries at par with the SKIMS Resident Doctors.

Resident Doctors at all Government Medical College Hospitals, including Lal Ded, are on indefinite strike since July 3.

At least 30 doctors are posted at this maternity hospital. All of them were unavailable, forcing closure of antenatal services, routine investigations and patient services.

Meanwhile, in Jammu all the Resident Doctors of Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu and associated hospitals went on a day-long strike protesting against termination of their fellow doctors in GMC Srinagar.

The strike had severely impacted the healthcare delivery services in the Medical College and associated hospitals.

Though the senior doctors were making all efforts to ease rush of patients by overworking, yet the consequences of the strike were clearly visible as long queues of patients were also seen in OPDs of almost every department. The indoor patients also faced problems due to the strike of junior doctors.

“We won’t call off the strike until our demands are met,” said president of the Resident Doctors Association Irfan Qayoom.The six GMC associated hospitals are the main health institutions in Kashmir which provide specialised treatment to the patients.

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