Odisha Government Enforces ESMA to Restrict Strikes by Health Workers for Six Months

TNI Bureau: On Wednesday, the Odisha government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to prohibit strikes by health workers, including nurses, paramedics, technicians, and other Class-III & Class-IV employees. The ESMA directive will be in effect for a duration of six months.

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According to an official order issued by the Home (Special Section) Department, the state government, exercising its power under Section-3 of the Odisha Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1988 (Odisha Act 9 of 1992), formally prohibits strikes in the mentioned services. The order will be valid for six months from the date of issuance.

The notification from the state government emphasizes, “In the interest of the public, it is necessary to prohibit strikes in the form of work stoppage by nurses, paramedics, technicians, and other Class-III and Class-IV employees, including contractual workers, engaged in services related to the maintenance of medical services in government hospitals and dispensaries across the state. This includes District Head Quarters Hospitals, Sub-Divisional Hospitals, Area Hospitals, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres, Municipality Hospitals, ESI Hospitals, and Medical Colleges and Hospitals operated by the government and other autonomous health institutions receiving Grant-in-aid from the State Government. This also applies to institutions such as AHRCC, Regional Spinal Injury Centre, Jail Hospitals, Police Hospitals, etc. The aim is to ensure that the healthcare delivery system in the state remains unaffected and undisrupted.

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