TN govt doctors oppose one hour increase in work hours

The duty hours of medical officers in PHCs was from 9 am to 4 pm and they had to attend duty at call between 4 pm to 8 am.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: The State Health Department recently issued a government order increasing the duty timings of the medical officers working in the primary health centres. However, the Tamil Nadu Government Doctor's Association (TNGDA) is opposing the order as they have to now work 48 hours a week.

The duty hours of medical officers in PHCs was from 9 am to 4 pm and they had to attend duty at call between 4 pm to 8 am. The overall schedule for the medical officers had an hourly work of 42 hours per week. With the revised timings from 8 am to 4 pm, it has increased to 48 hours and 54 hours duty on call.

"Most government servants and government teachers work just 37.5 hours per week and there is no duty on call. As per the pay commission, there is only 40 hours per week that is recommended. The existing timings which were there since 2009 have suddenly changed. We demand that the government order be withdrawn, " said Dr N Ravi Shankar, state general secretary, TNGDA, in a statement issued regarding the same.

The government doctor's association say that the order should be withdrawn or they shall stage a statewide protest and not participate in departmental meetings, submit reports and boycott mega vaccination drive.

"The earlier work timings was fixed after discussing it with experts and holding a consultation with the representatives from the doctor's community. However, this particular government order was suddenly brought in without discussing or taking any recommendations into regard," said Dr K Senthil, State President of Tamil Nadu Government Doctor's Association.

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