The Tamil Nadu Medical College Interns Association has demanded the colleges implement with immediate effect the 12-hour shift system. The trainee doctors said in many State colleges they had been threatened to sign letters which implied college authorities had followed the rule laid down by the health secretary, that requires interns be given 12-hour shifts, allowed to learn to treat patients and excused from doing routine works. Monday’s statement, signed by an intern Dr. Praveen, states most colleges had violated the order and the medical college in Tuticorin had asked students to sign a letter declaring they had been relieved of their duties. The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association, which represents medical teachers, had last week urged students to give up their strike. The association has said that in some colleges there are issues regarding the long work hours, which would be sorted out soon. The teachers commiserated with the students, and sought better facilities at workplace for the students. But they maintained that the trainees must administer the injections and the IV fluids as it is only during internship that the students learn to handle a syringe.

Teachers The Hindu said the protestors were a section of misguided students and the rest were continuing with their training programme.

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