Kerala Dr Vandana incident: PG association doctors meet Health Minister

"The Health minister directed the Director of Medical Education to look into the matter and further informed that a committee headed by Health Secretary," said Dr Arjun
Pic credits: Edex Live
Pic credits: Edex Live

The incident of intern doctor Vandana's death has created unrest in Kerala since May 10. House surgeons, PG doctors (junior resident doctors and senior resident doctors), several medical associations and UG students have staged protests. 

And as per reports online that CM Pinarayi Vijayan has chaired a high-level meeting where he assured necessary amendments will be made to ensure stricter implementation of the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property)Act, 2012, increased safety of health workers while on duty. Health Minister Veena George attended the meeting online.

Meet with Health Minister

When EdexLive spoke to Dr Arjun S, President of PG Association, Government Medical College, Kottayam he said they met the Health Minister this morning (May 12) at around 10.45 am. "It was a two-hour meeting which ended around 12.45 pm. The Health Minister was positive in hearing our concern," he added. 

All PG Association representatives of various medical colleges from Trivandrum, Calicut, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Thrissur, and Ernakulam attended the meeting. "A total of seven representatives from PG Associations and two from House Surgeon Association have attended the meeting," he added. 

To recall, the Kottayam house surgeons and PG doctors have boycotted the emergency and non-emergency services till 8 am today. And this was staged as a protest urging the government for the security and safety of doctors. These were their demands:

1. Amendment of Hospital Protection Act and immediate issue of Ordinance

2. Maximum punishment for the culprit

3. Maximum compensation to the victim's family

4. Increase the security both quality and quantity wise

What was the conclusion of the meeting?

Giving details about the ordinance, Dr Arjun told to EdexLive, "Hospital Protection Ordinance is already drafted and it will be in place very soon, assured the health minister," said Dr Arjun. Further, about compensation to the deceased family, she said, "Government is already working on it but the amount will be decided at the cabinet meeting on May 17."

Increase in Security 

"Regarding our second demand, the health minister said they are going to increase security and affirmed that medical colleges can appoint their own home guards," he said. Moreover, police outposts will be deployed where Sub-Inspector will be appointed on duty in every hospital, said the minister, he added. 

"The minister directed the Director of Medical Education to look into the matter and further informed that a committee headed by Health Secretary will be formed to look into the concerns," Dr Arjun said. 

Secondary demands

Besides these main demands, the intern doctors have also pointed out the pending hike in their stipend. Responding to this, "the minister assured that if not 4% per year, there will be a hike in the stipend," Dr Arjun said. 

What now?

"Since these are all oral assurances given by the health minister, we are planning to boycott the non-emergency services till our demands are actually met," he said. The timings for boycotting the services will be decided in a meeting today at 6 pm, he informed. 

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