All medical students, including house surgeons, postgraduate medical students and postgraduate super specialty medical students, struck work for a day at all the five Government Medical Colleges in the State on Thursday, in protest against the government's decision to impose one-year compulsory rural service/bonded service after each medical course of MBBS, PG and PG Super specialty.

The medical students boycotted all hospital services, including casualty services, and initiated a process of despatching postcards to the Health Minister, detailing their demands. Every student will send a postcard to the Health Minister as a mark of protest.

Representatives of the Joint Action Council of medical students said the government should not insist on the system of bonded service and they were willing to serve the public sector if the government offered them permanent posts through the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Instead of notifying the vacancies of doctors in government service promptly to the PSC and filling the posts from the PSC list, the government was trying to take the easy way out by making medicos work as bonded labour, the council alleged. Though the medicos tried to meet the Health Secretary on Thursday for discussions, nothing materialised.

‘Services not hit'

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Thiruvananthapuram Medical College said that the hospital services were not affected by the medicos' strike and that all surgeries were conducted as scheduled.

If the government did not initiate steps to resolve the issue within two weeks, the students would intensify the agitation, the council said.

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