21 doctors in fray in TN for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Chennai: Tamilnadu has a name for itself in mixing cinema with politics. In a new trend, the parties are mixing medicine with politics: Yes, 21 doctors are contesting the coming general elections.

While DMK has three such candidates, BJP has one, INC has two, PMK has four, AIADMK has two, DMDK has one, Puthiya Tamilagam has one, MNM has three and NTK has four.

News Today spoke to a few doctors to find out if the doctors can catalyse change and form a healthy government. Indian Medical Association (IMA), Tamilnadu chapter state president, Dr Kanagasabapathi opines that the doctor-candidates are apt representatives and can govern better.

Elaborating on it, he said, “Doctor is one of the professions where the person can get to meet and interact with people hailing from varied strata which will help them in understanding the society better. However, it is not the case in other occupations. For instance, an advocate practicing in a top court, would be able to meet only a certain set of people.”

Further to it, IMA has come up with a ‘Health Manifesto’ detailing the aspects that require attention which has been shared with parties across the country.

“In India, there has not been enough budget allocation for healthcare and is only around 1.2 per cent as against western countries. The other issue that we have raised is about medical facilities. Tamilnadu is the State where medical facilities are better when compared to northern states. For instance, in UP there is a shortage for doctors which we have highlighted in the manifesto. Educational institutions and coming up with treatment facilities in district-level are something that requires policy intervention,” Kanagasabapathi said.

However, in contrary, Doctors’ Association for Social Equality general secretary, Dr Ravindranath, believes that it is the policies that matter and not profession. “It is good that the parties have roped in literate people. However, mere literacy cannot determine the abilities of a candidate or party. Even if they are well-educated, the values and policies they hold on to is important than everything. It should be free from religion, caste, creed and community. Unfortunately, we cannot support the doctors that causes harm to society,” Ravindranath said.

He stated that the policies should be such that it is for people. “There is no point in voting for a good doctor who is in a wrong party,” the doctor said.

Bhavani Prabhakar