ESMA amid doctors’ strike, Covid surge in Haryana

Chandigarh: Due to the doctors’ protest during Covid pandemic in the State, Haryana Government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) for six months prohibiting the healthcare workers to go on strike.
The health services in the government hospitals in Haryana were hit as doctors suspended OPD work in support of their demands.
Emergency services and COVID-19 vaccination drive continued in the state but OPD services were affected, said Rajesh Sheok and of Haryana Civil Medical Services Association, a body representing government doctors.
Haryana Civil Medical Services Association is demanding creation of a specialist cadre, amendment in post-graduation policy and stoppage of direct recruitment of senior medical officers in the state.
Acceding to one of the key demands of the doctors, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar gave in-principle approval to creation of Specialist cadre post for MD or MS doctors. Besides this, it was decided that the doctors will not be given any administrative work and will practice in their concerned specialty.
Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said that ESMA has been implemented in Haryana considering the spread of pandemic Corona and now health workers will not be able to go on strike for next six months. A notification in this regard has also been issued.
Hanyana Health Minister Vij said that the whole country is fighting Corona and at such a crucial time a group of doctors has announced to go on strike which will adversely affect the fight against Corona.
“We had accepted their demands and forwarded them to the Chief Minister and other departments immediately. After meeting with the Chief Minister on Monday, their demands were fulfilled and were given in-principle approval. The doctors still insisted to go on strike,” Vij said. He alleged that there is someone who wants to disrupt the fight against Corona that’s why the Government had to implement ESMA.

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