The Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has warned the doctors in Punjab against going on strike. The move has come when the PCMS specialist doctors are already on strike since May 2 across the state by not offering special services (surgeries).The agitators call it 'work-to-rule'.
PMC president Dr GS Grewal said, "At the behest of the Supreme Court, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has issued a notice to all the state medical councils saying no doctor, government or private can henceforth go on strike". Violations of the orders may lead to serious penal action, including removal of the name from PMC register, which means suspension of licence, he said.
The Supreme Court orders came after an NGO, People for Better Treatment, sought its intervention against the strike by the doctors.
Quoting the MCI order, Dr Grewal said, "The ethics committee perused the order dated November 11, 2014 of the Supreme Court of India in WP (C) No 253 of 2012 tilted 'People for Better Treatment V/s Secretary, IMA and Another' with regard to concern over the doctors going to strike."
He said, the ethics committee of the MCI discussed the matter in detail and it was of the view that every doctor registered with the state medical council or Medical Council of India are required to abide by the code of medical ethics.
The MCI has asked all the medical councils across the country including PMC to take cognizance of the directives of the Supreme Court and in case any strike by the doctors in the state is brought to PMC's notice, it may take necessary action against the doctor concerned accordingly.
When asked if the PMC will take action against the PCMS specialist doctors, Dr Grewal said, "I have written a letter to director, health services and asked if the doctors are on strike or on 'work-to-rule'. Action will be taken after getting the official reply."
PCMS specialist doctors' association Punjab president Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal said, "We are not on strike and havn't violated any law. We are on 'work to rule' as we are just not rendering specialist services but going to the hospital daily and treating the patients."
The PMC also warned its members not to undergo 'ghost faculty' practice and said that strict action will be taken by the council against such doctors. Ghost faculty practice is a system in which doctors get enrolled as faculty in a medical institution, but don't teach as per the norms and they never or hardly visit the institutions.