The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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TN doctors’ strike today

Chennai, May 13: The Tamil Nadu government has stepped up temporary recruitment of at least 3,000 doctors to offset the impact of tomorrow’s strike called by government doctors in protest against allowing new private medical colleges.

The doctors have called the token strike to express solidarity with agitating medical students.

The standoff, which has intensified over the past week, has thrown services across the state out of gear. Reports reaching the capital this evening said hundreds of patients visiting government hospitals in districts and even in the city are suffering as a result of the agitation.

Over a thousand surgeries scheduled for the last two days have been put on hold. Yesterday, an accident patient in Madurai died at the Government Rajaji Hospital, apparently due to lack of immediate medical aid.

Director of medical education Dr Ravindranath said the temporary recruits would be from among those registered with employment exchanges. They would be paid a consolidated allowance of Rs 500 a day, while Rs 1,000 will be paid per day for each surgery.

Ravindranath, however, said the accident victim’s death was a result of the “serious injuries” he sustained.

With the standoff showing no signs of a thaw, state health minister Dr S. Semmalai has made it clear that the government was not in the business of permitting new private medical colleges. He pointed out that it was the exclusive domain of the Central government and the Indian Medical Council.

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