Special Correspondent

Protests against Minister’s remarks on rural posting

They will boycott classes and

take out rallies

CHENNAI: Medicos led by the Tamil Nadu Medical Students and House Surgeons Council will launch an indefinite Statewide stir on Thursday to protest against recent remarks by the Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on compulsory rural posting.

They will boycott classes and take out rallies, Council spokesmen Sathish Kumar and V. Vinoth told a press conference here on Tuesday. They took exception to a reported statement by the Minister that a Bill would be piloted in the forthcoming session of Parliament extending the MBBS course to six-and-a-half years, including a year of compulsory rural service.

The Council alleged that the Minister was trying to unilaterally push through mandatory rural posting and extension of the MBBS course even before the Government-designated panel submitted its recommendations. The proposal needed to be debated in public before a final decision was taken.

Seeking Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s interevention, they said the medicos expected him to sympathise with their position of not opposing rural service per se but only the mandatory requirement proviso and the extra year of the MBBS course.

In place of the compulsory rural service proposal, the students were willing to take up rural employment if offered permanent posts in health services through agencies such as the UPSC or State Service Commission.

A.Karthikeyan, student representative, said it was proposed to coordinate with students in other States to broaden the agitation nationwide. The Council will frame its future course of agitation on Friday.