Chennai, Oct 25 : About 13,000 doctors owing allegiance
to the Federation of Government Doctors Association (FOGDA) began an indefinite strike from today demanding better pay and promotions.
The doctors boycotted outpatient services and in-patient care in government hospitals as part of the strike, but emergency services were being attended to. Doctors were also on duty in the emergency units, intensive care units, coronary care units, deliveries, paediatric and neonatal intensive care units and fever wards.
According to FOGDA Convenor A Ramalingam more than 60 to 70 per cent of the total 18,000 doctors in Tamil Nadu were taking part in the strike. The doctors association decided to go ahead with their indefinite strike after the State government failed to fulfil some of their long pending demands that included implementation of Dynamic Assured Career Progression with pay band-4 at the end of 13 years of service instead of the present 20, maintenance of doctor posts as per the number of patients, 50 per cent service quota in PG admissions and conduct of counselling for posting service PG graduates.
The doctors also staged a protest demonstration in front of various government hospitals. Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital Dean R Jayanthi said outpatient services were not affected as 95 per cent of doctors reported for duty and all services were being maintained as usual. In August-end, six doctors of FOGDA had launched an indefinite fast, following which Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar held talks with them assured to consider their demand for pay band-4 at 13 years of service in six weeks time.
Since the six week deadline ended on October eight and the
government was yet to concede their demands, the FOGDA decided to observe an indefinite strike, doctors said.
Meanwhile, DMK President M K Stalin urged the state government to hold talks with the striking doctors to bring an end to the strike. In a statement here, he blamed the state government for forcing the doctors to go on strike and appealed to the agitating doctors not to resort to any strike and find out a solution by holding talks with the