Tamil Nadu medicos end strike, doctors to report to duty

The doctors had returned to duty after the state government had issued an ultimatum to the protesting doctors threatening to replace them if they did not report to duty.
Tamil Nadu medicos end strike, doctors to report to duty
Tamil Nadu medicos end strike, doctors to report to duty
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Following Tamil Nadu Government’s ultimatum to the protesting doctors, the strike has now been called off, a week after it began. The government of Tamil Nadu also has withdrawn the 'Break in service' action initiated against the protesting doctors, after a representation from the doctors met with State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Friday. 

A group representation from the Federation of Government Doctors Association (FOGDA) attended the meeting with Vijayabaskar with the presence of Beela Rajesh, the state health secretary on Friday. After the meeting the government thanked the doctors for returning to work and announced that it will consider the reasonable demands of the doctors. 

Speaking to TNM Dr Rama from the Federation of Government Doctors Association (FOGDA) had earlier told TNM that the protest was being called off since the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had appealed to the doctors to report to duty and then attend the talks with the government. The Tamil Nadu government had issued an ultimatum to protesting doctors on Thursday, threatening to replace them if they did not report to duty. Health Minister Vijayabaskar said that a count will be taken of missing doctors and the vacancies will be filled through fresh recruitment or transfers.

Nearly 16,000 government doctors across Tamil Nadu launched an indefinite strike on October 25 over four demands. The demands include periodic salary raise and promotions from the state health department; rectification of all inconsistencies in GO 4(D)2 (the government order implementing the staffing pattern to the hospitals so as to strengthen the health care delivery systems and sanctioning of posts as per the Medical Council of India guidelines and hiring people according to patient strength; 50% state-wise reservation for PG speciality and super speciality courses; and fourth, transparent counselling while appointing those who have completed their PGs.

The protesting doctors belonged to various groups under FOGDA in the state. The protest at the Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital was led by five doctors, who belong to Chennai, Tiruvallur and Tiruvannamalai districts. The doctors have been sitting on a hunger strike in front of the hospital from Friday. The state government has refused to give in to their demands.

This, however, is not the first time government doctors in Tamil Nadu are going on a strike insisting on their demands of pay parity. On July 10, government medical officers in Trichy, Chennai and Salem organised a day-long hunger strike emphasising their demands. On August 20, the doctors, interns and their families formed a human chain to draw attention to their demands.

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