JK Govt decides to invoke ESMA to deal with doctors on strike

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to invoke Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to deal with the strike called by doctors in various health institutions of the State.

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

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

The Resident Doctor’s Association (RDA) of SMHS hospital on Monday announced an indefinite strike from Tuesday onwards, withdrawing all services- emergencies and intensive care units- in lieu of the Resident’s demands.

“We again reiterate our demands that Senior Residents, post graduates and Junior Residents will be provided same basic pay and grade pay with all the allowances including NPA as is being provided to the Resident Doctors of SKIMS Soura,” they said.

On Wednesday morning, after a baby’s death, protests rocked Kashmir’s lone tertiary care hospital Lal Ded amid ongoing protest by the resident doctors, reported the Greater Kashmir. 

The protestors alleged that “many” babies had died at the hospital due to unavailability of doctors.

“Why were we referred to this hospital if there are no doctors available here? They (administration) should put up a lock on its gates,” an attendant of a patient said.

Most of the patients said they had come on their own or were referred from far off places to this hospital for specialized treatment.

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