Doctors in the city's three major teaching medical hospitals will go on a one-day strike on Wednesday. On that day, a total of 1,000 doctors, apart from the striking postgraduate and house surgeons will boycott outpatient services and elective surgeries.

The decision follows unsatisfactory response from the government to the incident where Dr. A. Rajesh, a postgraduate student was allegedly assaulted by attendants of a patient, said K. Senthil, president of the Chennai wing of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association.

On Monday, postgraduate students in all the three medical colleges in the city, besides those in Thanjavur, Coimbatore, Chengalpet, Madurai and Tirunelveli participated in the strike.

Doctors in government hospitals in Dharmapuri, Villupuram, Theni and Kanyakumari wore black ribbons as protest.

“Apart from non-service, there are around 1000 doctors in the city colleges and hospitals. Dr. Rajesh is in government service and a member of the association. ,” he said.

“We approached the Health Minister who assured us that the Health Secretary would hold a meeting and address our grievance. But the talks held on Monday with the Health Secretary Girija Vaidhyanathan and the Director of Medical Education C. Vamsadhara remained inconclusive.

The government doctors and PG students demand that the men who assaulted Dr. Rajesh be booked under the Tamil Nadu Hospital Protection Act, 2008.

“We want the hospitals to be declared protected zone as is being done in the case of Chennai High Court. But the government is evasive,” Dr. Senthil alleged.

Around seven years ago, the State government had introduced the system of collecting Rs. 5 per attendant. The revenue generated was used for the upkeep of the hospitals. Doctors say the fee system not only brought down the number of persons entering the hospital premises but also ensured that cleanliness could be maintained. However, the scheme was later withdrawn.

According to some senior doctors, the emergency ward in the government hospital in Dharmapuri operates from a large garage-like area. “When we have major accidents and many patients wheeled in, we push the stretchers into the ward and down the shutters. The doctors are then called in to treat the patients. Neither the media nor the patient relatives are allowed inside,” a senior doctor

Keywords: Medicos strike

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