Bhubaneswar, Jan 24:
The state government has indirectly warned Odisha Medical Services Association (OMSA), a body of doctors serving in the state government, of stringent action if they resort to any satyagraha/ceasework/strike illegally in defiance of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) which is in force in the state, said official sources.
The sources said since ESMA is in force in the state, permission cannot be granted to doctors, nurses or any other employees engaged in the health services for any satyagraha, ceasework or strike.
Apprehending that the satyagraha proposed to be held by government doctors on January 27 could seriously affect delivery of health services in the state, the Odisha government extended ESMA already in force by another six months on January 18. The Home department has issued a notification in this regard.
The Health department has made it clear that permission for holding satyagraha cannot be given under such circumstances. The department’s principal secretary, P K Mohapatra has written letters to all district collectors, SPs, CDMOs, Police Commissioner, Director Capital Hospital etc asking them to remain on alert in view of the proposed satyagraha.
The secretary’s advisory has reminded the recipients that ESMA is in force in the state and under no circumstances should health services get disrupted in the state.
It has also advised them to keep a close watch on the law and order situation in view of the satyagraha.
Reacting to the government’s decision, former OMSA president Dr Madhusudan Mishra told OST that the government was scared and was trying to bully the doctors. He said the government was trying to cover up its incompetence by threatening to use ESMA.
He pointed out that the doctors were firm in their resolve to hold mass satyagraha for fulfilling their long standing genuine demands.