Health professionals have taken issue with the circular issued by the Secretary to the Health Ministry ‘restricting the freedom of speech and expression of health workers’.

In a letter addressed to Health Secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta, the Joint Council for Professionals of Supplementary Medicine said the communiqué in question has not clearly mentioned the provisions of the Establishments Code which concern the representatives of trade unions or health professionals’ associations.

Ravi Kumudesh, the president of the joint council, said it is clear that this circular was ‘deliberately’ issued with the intention of suppressing the trade unions.

The joint council also vowed to resort to trade union actions if the government uses this circular to arbitrarily suppress the freedom of speech and expression of health workers.

It also called for an explanation from the Health Secretary on the matter, and urged him to revoke the circular.

The letter came in response to a circular issued on Friday (July 21) by the Health Secretary preventing health workers from making statements to the media without the approval of their respective department heads.

The circular also mentioned that disciplinary action would be sought against the health workers pursuant to the provisions of the Establishments Code.