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Odisha invokes ESMA, bans strikes by paramedical staff

The Odisha government invoked the Orissa Essential Services (Maintenance) Act (ESMA) prohibiting strikes by paramedical staff, including nurses, pharmacists, technicians, Class III and IV employees, to ensure that medical services are not disrupted.

The order imposing ESMA and prohibiting strike will remain in force for six months from December 6, the Health department said on Wednesday.

“To prohibit strikes in the form of cessation of work by employees (including contractual employees) associated with Medical services in the state to provide uninterrupted healthcare services to the needy, #Odisha Government has prohibited strikes in the aforesaid services,” state health department said on X.

“It is necessary to prohibit strikes in the form of cessation of work by nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, technicians and other Class III and IV employees, etc. including contractual employees in services connected with maintenance of medical services in the government hospitals and dispensaries… including medical colleges and hospitals run by government and other autonomous health institutions receiving grant-in-aid from state government,” the notification issued by the Home (special section) department said on Wednesday.

Those staff working at municipality hospitals, ESI hospitals, Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre, Cuttack, Regional Spinal Injury Centre, Cuttack, jail hospitals and police hospitals will also be covered under the prohibition order.

As per Section 2 (b) of the Orissa Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1988, strike means the cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any essential service acting in combination or a concerted refusal or refusal under a common understanding of any number of persons who are or have been so employed to continue to work or to accept employment and includes unauthorised absence from duty, the notification said. PTI

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