Chennai, Nov 20 (UNI) Medicos in Tamil Nadu today launched an indefinite relay hunger strike, protesting against the Centre's proposed one year compulsory rural posting for the medicos, extending the MBBS course from five and a half years to six and a half years.
Medical students and house surgeons of 14 government medical colleges across the state joined the fast, boycotting their classes, in their second phase of week-long agitation.
In the city, students of Madras Stanley and Kilpauk Medical colleges and house surgeons went on a hunger strike in front of their colleges.
The first batch of 250 students and house surgeons would observe fast from 0800 hrs to 1800 hrs and they would be replaced by the next batch in the evening.
Similar protests were being organised in front of the goverment hospitals and colleges in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Tirunelveli, a spokesperson of the Tamil Nadu Medical Students and House surgeons council said.
The medicos have decided to go ahead with their agitation despite an assurance by Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss that there was no move to introduce a bill, making one year compulsory rural postings during the ongoing Parliament session.
The Minister had said the Centre would take a decision on this only after the Dr Sambasiva Rao committee, constituted to go into the issue submitted its report, but the medicos declared that they had no faith in the committee and demanded that the government drop the move immediately.
The striking medicos also sought the intervention of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to resolve the issue amicably. They sought an appointment with the Chief Minister and expecting a response from his office this evening, the spokesperson said.