Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: A hike in stipend for medicos was announced by Health Minister M.R.K. Paneerselvam in the Assembly on Friday.

On Thursday, the medicos, who were on strike for about two weeks, had given up their protest, following the government’s assurance that their demands would be met.

The Minister said a sum of Rs.7,000 a month would be provided to house surgeons instead of Rs.6,000 [which was announced last week]. Till now, the house surgeons were getting Rs.4,500. Postgraduate students would, in their first year, get Rs.15,000 (earlier amount Rs.8,000); Rs.16,000 (Rs.8,500) in the second year and Rs.17,000 (Rs.9,000) in the third year.

Students of super specialties would get Rs.18,000 (Rs.9,500) in the first year; Rs.19,000 (Rs.10,000) in the second year and Rs.20,000 (Rs.10,000) in the third year. Those pursuing M.Ch (neuro surgery) would get Rs.18,000 (Rs.10,000) in their fourth year and Rs.19,000 (Rs.10,000) in their fifth year, the Minister added.

Medicos’ plea to Chief Minister

Welcoming the State government’s decision to increase their stipends, the medicos requested Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to ensure that no departmental or legal action was taken against those who participated in the strike.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, the medicos said that they were withdrawing their strike to show that there were no political motives behind it. They thanked him for the increase in stipend, but asked for a further increase.

The medicos also wanted the hike to be implemented from the current academic year, for a revision of 10 per cent in the amounts each year and for a reduction in the academic fees. They expressed the hope that the Chief Minister would accede to all these requests.