Tamil Nadu medicos go on fast to protest course extension

November 21st, 2007 - 10:38 pm ICT by admin  

Coimbatore/Chennai, Nov 21 (ANI): Medicos in Tamil Nadu went on a hunger strike on Wednesday to protest a decision of the Central Government favouring compulsory rural service for medical students, which would result in an extension of the course duration to six and a half years.

Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss recently announced the tabling of a bill favouring compulsory rural service for medical students. However, this did not go down well with medicos, as the move would result in extending the MBBS course to six-and-a-half years.

In Coimbatore, over 750 trainee doctors and medical students began their hunger strike. Holding placards and shouting “Medicos United,” they sat on protest, some with their mouths covered with strips of black cloth while others had their faces painted in white with 51/2 or 61/2 on their foreheads.

“First, I want to clarify that we are not against rural service. It would be our pleasure to do rural service but our period of study should not be extended. It should be within five and a half years and if you want to extend that study give us permanent jobs with permanent salaries,” said Siddharth, President Medical Students Association.

Sukhanya, a medical student, said: “We don’t see any harm in working in rural areas. We have signed a bond for only five and a half years of study. But if it is extended to six and a half years we are against only the extension of posting.”

State capital Chennai too witnessed similar protests.

Medical students of Tamil Nadu and House Surgeons council continued a hunger strike, which they started on Tuesday evening.

“When we come to a course of five and a half years how can they extend it immediately to six and a half years course, that’s injustice,” said Sathish Kumar, Spokesperson - Tamil Nadu Medical Students and House Surgeons Council.
The government says the move will improve the medical facility in rural areas. (ANI)

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