The MHOA and the MRSPU have threatened the Ministry of Health in case they do not have an appointment with the minister; the former might go on strike while the latter mentioned taking to the streets. The battle that ensued from the announcement of the project ’24/7 mediclinic’ is still not yet resolved.
The president of the Medical and Health Officers’ Association (MHOA), Waseem Ballam, stated that they might soon go for a strike if the ministry does not consider their demands. The members of the MHOA (around 200 of them) have voted for a strike in case they are left unheard by the authorities. The tug of war between the organisation and the Ministry of Health began with the project 24/7 in dispensaries and mediclinics.
Waseem Ballam said that they do not wish to go to that length, but they will surely do so if they do not have a meeting with the Minister of Health, Anil Gayan. He had also said that they will discuss as to how to carry out the strike while ensuring that the patients are not negatively affected.
As for minister Anil Gayan he has replied crudely to the threats of the doctors – it seems that he will not back down. He affirmed that they may go on strike if they choose to do so but that they will have to face the consequences if they indulge in illegal strikes.
Anil Gayan had also mentioned that the MHOA is mostly concerned about money. Countering his argument, Waseem Ballam said that all of the points they have put forward, except the one having to do with their remuneration, revolve around the welfare of the patients. He retorted that it is untrue to say that their issue is a matter of money and not of principles.
Moreover, the Medical Records Officers, represented by the Medical Records Staff Power Union (MRSPU), have also joined the generalist practitioners. The MRSPU has blamed the government to have acted in haste without planning in advance as to the 24/7 mediclinic strategy. The association pointed out that the project is flawed in terms of the remuneration assigned to the doctors and issues relating to the lack of personnel.
The MRSPU also asked for a meeting with the minister. They have threatened to take to the streets for a peaceful demonstration if their quests are ignored by the authorities.