Don't politicise medicos' stir, urges Ramadoss

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Chennai, Nov 25 (UNI) Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who has been the target of criticism for his decision to make one year rural posting for medicos compulsory, today urged the political parties in Tamil Nadu not to politicise the agitation by the medicos.

He was talking to mediapersons after delivering a special address at a function on Consultation on Tobacco Control in Tamil Nadu.

He said the same political parties, which were opposing the one year compulsory rural posting for medical students, had stated that there were insufficient doctors in rural areas.

''It (opposing rural posting) only showed their double standards,'' he added.

The agitation by the medicos opposing the Centre's move entered the third week. They had been boycotting classes and staging demonstrations in protest against the Centre's decision on rural posting as they feel it would extend the course by one year from five-and-a-half years to six-and-a-half years. They also observed a relay hunger strike for a couple of days.

Following intervention from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, the Tamil Nadu Medical Students and House Surgeon's Council had agreed to call off their indefinite fast, but said their other forms of agitation like boycott of classes would continue till the Centre drops the move.

The agitation took a political turn with leaders of various parties pledging their support, in a bid to exert pressure on Dr Ramadoss to drop the proposal.

Leaders of the main Opposition AIADMK, Left parties, MDMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Puthiya Tamizhagam and All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi had called on the striking medicos and pledged their support, before the Chief Minister intervened and assured them that he would take up the issue with the Centre.

But the medicos stuck to their stand saying they were calling off the hunger strike in defference to the appeal made by the Chief Minister, but would go ahead with other modes of agitations like taking out rallies, holding demonstrations and human chain protests till the Centre conceded their demand.

The Medicos contended that they were not against serving in rural areas and willing to serve if the government appointed them on a permanent basis after they secured their MBBS degrees.

UNI

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