Govt. drops disciplinary action against 114 doctors

This is due to their ‘selfless service’ during the pandemic

The Health Department has decided to drop the disciplinary proceedings initiated against 114 government medical officers for participating in an indefinite strike last year.

Several doctors affiliated to the Federation of Government Doctors Association went on a strike to put forward their demands, including proper implementation of the Dynamic Assured Career Progression scheme, in October 2019. The Health Department had then said participating in the strike would attract violation of Rule 20 and 22 of the Tamil Nadu Government Servant Conduct Rules, 1973.

As the doctors went ahead with the strike, the Health Department initiated disciplinary proceedings against 114 of them — 32 doctors from institutions under the Directorate of Medical Education, 31 from the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services and 51 from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

The Department, in a government order (G.O) dated December 21, said the government had initiated appropriate proceedings — transferring the doctors to various places, no work no pay for the strike period and the initiation of disciplinary action — against the doctors. In response, some of them moved the Madras High Court.

Orders set aside

The court, while coming to a conclusion that doctors did not have the right to go on strike under any circumstances, set aside the transfer orders and disciplinary proceedings issued against them. It also asked the government to address the issues and demands made by the government doctors and find a solution.

The doctors of various associations submitted repeated representations on their earlier demands, including a pay increase, and also for the cancellation of the charge memos, treating the strike period as eligible leave and restoring them to their original places of work.

At a meeting headed by the Health Minister on December 14, it was decided that the penal proceedings taken against the doctors may be dropped in view of the “selfless service” rendered by government medical officers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following this, the government decided to drop further action with regard to the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the 114 government doctors, to treat the period of strike — October 25 to 31, 2019 — as leave for which the doctors are eligible and to restore the medical officers already transferred to their original places

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