TN govt docs back to work; disciplinary action revoked

Chennai: Following Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s appeal to the striking government doctors, the protestors have withdrawn their agitation today and returned to duty. Thanking them, Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar has announced revoking disciplinary action including the break-in service notice.

“When the government is respecting us and considering on par with God, it is better not to continue strike. We are hoping to be addressed by the CM,” said Federation of Government Doctors’ Association (FOGDA) convener Dr C Sundaresan.

The physicians were holding protest for the past seven days across the State. Until yesterday, they were keen to continue the strike till their demands are met.

The CM yesterday appealed to the protesters to consider the situation of the underprivileged people and withdraw the strike. “The government spends Rs 1.24 crore to create one physician and they are respected like a God, they should think and get back to work. The Health Minister has promised to consider the demands,” he said.

Addressing the press yesterday, Vijaya Baskar said, “2,160 doctors had returned to work Wednesday. Their key demands – promotion and pay disparity – will be considered by the government.”

He stated that the protesters were hindering the way and causing inconvenience to patients and hospitals cannot be a place for holding dharna. “We will not allow it anymore,” Vijaya Baskar said.

Previously, the Minister stated that if the protest was going to continue the posts would be replaced through fresh recruitment or internal transfers. “We were patient for the strike to end. FOGDA is not recognised by the government but the doctors of TNGDA withdrew the strike after the meeting. The healthcare services offered should not be blocked,” he said.

Physicians of FOGDA were on an indefinite strike since 25 October demanding pay hike, 50 per cent reservation for experienced candidates in PG medical education and recruitment of additional doctors among many others. The striking doctors called it ‘unfair’ to say their federation was unrecognised and were disappointed that the Minister did not address them. They are now hoping to have talks with the CM regarding their needs.

NT Bureau