Tamil Nadu government was considering banning private practice by its doctors, Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam has said.

The opinion of public health department officials and government doctors would have to be considered before taking a decision, he said in Nagercoil, 200 km from here, on Thursday.

Government doctors skipping regular duty to practice in private hospitals would be closely monitored, he said after reviewing implementation of “Kalaingar Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatment” in Kanyakumari and two other districts.

He said the new Government Medical Colleges in Villupuram and Tiruvarur would be opened in the next two months.

Speaking at a meeting here on Friday to review the scheme’s implementation in Madurai and five neighbouring districts, he said government had appointed 28,000 paramedical staff and 6,118 doctors after a long gap.

He asked the District Administrations to give top priority to the scheme, launched last year, to ensure that maximum number of people benefited from it. Camps could be organised to popularise the scheme and prevent loss of lives.

Though government hospitals and primary health centres were well equipped and better staffed, they were not able to cater to the needs of increasing number of patients. Hence the scheme was launched, he said.