Nurse therapists qualified from government-run Siddha colleges are demanding jobs in government-run Indian medicine system hospitals.

Around 50 therapists participated in a protest on Tuesday and said they had taken up the course with the hope of getting jobs. But two years after finishing the course, even the 80 candidates that had registered with the employment exchange did not have jobs, said G. Ramesh, a student from the first batch.

A diploma course in integrated nursing therapy was launched in 2009 and is being conducted in the Siddha colleges in Palayamkottai and Chennai. In the last four years, candidates have been admitted and two batches of students have passed out of the two-and-half year course.

In the last six months of the course, the students are trained in the various systems of medicine. The Directorate of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy awards the completion certificates.

“The Chief Minister has announced lifestyle clinics in hospitals for promoting yoga and naturopathy systems of medicine. We have been trained to provide therapies in Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani, naturopathy and yoga. The nurses in the allopathic system are trained only to distribute medicines but we are trained to treat patients and provide oil massage therapies and other traditional treatments,” Mr. Ramesh said.

The protesters have presented their demands have met minister K.C. Veeramani in the past and on Tuesday, made a representation to commissioner Apoorva.

She said it was a long-pending demand of the therapists and that a proposal had been sent to the government for approval.

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