PESHAWAR  - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Monday implemented the Essential Services Act (ESA) in all hospitals of the province, reported a private TV channel.

In order to fix the problem of the protesting medical staff members, KP government has implemented the mandatory Services Act, according to which the employees at the hospitals cannot go on strike.

After imposition of the act, action could be taken against doctors and other employees of the health department observing strike as per rules. On the other hand, Health Employees Coordination Council, comprising doctors and paramedical staff, has rejected the act outrightly.

The health department has issued the instructions to all the directors of the subordinate departments. The mandatory Services Act has been implemented in the province upon the orders of Peshawar High Court.

The doctors and paramedics staff had announced strike throughout the provincial hospitals from February 9 but now they won’t be able to act upon their announcement.

Provincial Health Minister Shehram Khan Tarkai, talking to media, said KP government held talks with protesting doctors and paramedical staff for about two and half years and also accepted some of their demands in the best interest of patients.

He further said that a few employees of the health department also challenged reforms agenda of the provincial government in the court of law. But, the court not only supported the government’s act but also directed to implement all sections included in the act. He said provincial government at first accepted all the legal demands of the protesting doctors and paramedical staff and then implemented the reforms agenda of the KP government. “If in spite of that any person goes on strike violating the law, he will be terminated from service,” Tarkai said.

Tarkai said the employees not accepting provincial reforms act should resign forthwith. “It makes no difference if such employees are terminated.”