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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Doctors demand pay increase

TIRUCHI: The Tiruchi branch of the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association (TNGDA) has urged the State Government to introduce an upward revision in pay scales of doctors attached to Government hospitals.
There was a wide disparity between the pay structures for Government doctors in neighbouring states and Tamil Nadu, Association Tiruchi branch president S. Selvapandian told the media here on Monday.
The pay scale for government doctors in states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala was almost two to three times higher than that of Tamil Nadu government doctors.
Time-bound promotions, as practised in other states, must be implemented for the doctors and promotion period must be fixed at five years. Department of Medical Education of Tamil Nadu does not provide hike in salary even after promotion which, Dr. Selvapandian said, was a violation of Indian Medical Council recommendations.
He complained that government doctors worked for over seventy hours a week owing to increasing vacancies in the hospitals. During the State-wide hunger strike, the doctors would also demand cutting down of working time to 40 hours a week. Long pending vacancies in the cadre of Deputy Directors of Tuberculosis, Family Welfare and Leprosy were not filled and these positions were yet to be created in newly formed districts.
Insisting on the implementation of voluntary retirement services for the doctors, Dr. Selvapandian said the TNGDA considered it as ‘human rights violation to overload doctors with work without giving them prospect to retire when they wish.’
He said that the members of the Association would go on a hunger strike in support of their demand on Tuesday. He, however, added that the functioning of the hospitals would not be affected, as only a section of doctors would take part in the stir. “The patients will not be affected at any cost,” he added.
Similar stir would be launched all over the State in which doctors of district headquarters hospitals and government medical college hospitals would participate.

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