TN government doctors will hold a symbolic fast on Wednesday

Chennai, March 1 (IANS): Tamil Nadu government doctors will take part in a quick symbolic protest on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The protest is about a number of demands, including appropriate relief for the families of government doctors who died of Covid-19. They are also claiming the salary band 4 to 12 years of service.

The doctors said that if the government did not respond to their demands, they would intensify the unrest.

Government doctors had held a dharna on October 20 in Madurai and after assurances from health minister Ma Subramanian that he would raise the matter with the chief minister, they did not escalate their agitation. Doctors again held a dharna on January 19 when nothing happened after assurances from the Minister of Health.

The government’s Doctors’ Legal Coordinating Committee, which is leading the agitation, said the state government is doing nothing about doctors’ pay and other benefits. Dr Perumal Pillai, chairman of the LCC, told IANS that “we only demand that the government provide a living wage to the lowest paid government doctors on par with doctors in neighboring states.”

He said the previous government promised in writing that doctors’ demands would be met, but nothing happened.

Doctors said Dr Vivekanandan’s wife, who died of a Covid-19-related illness, was denied a government post on compassionate grounds. The LCC had met with the Minister of Health and officials as well as the family of the deceased doctor, but nothing came of it.

Doctors are on the warpath after successive governments ignored their demands, Dr Pillai said.

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