Government doctors across Tamil Nadu boycotted outpatient services Tuesday demanding time-bound promotions and salaries on par with their counterparts in other states and at the centre. Official sources said outpatient services were partially affected and doctors attended to emergency cases.
Over 18,000 doctors of medical colleges, primary health centres, government hospitals, Employees' State Insurance (ESI) dispensaries and hospitals took part in the protest, the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association said.
"However, emergency cases were exempted," its secretary N Ravishankar told PTI. He said the association members would boycott elective surgeries and classes in medical colleges across the state from December 8 if their demands were not met by then. He said they were demanding three time-bound promotions-in the fourth, ninth and 13th year of service instead of the existing pattern of eight, 15 and 20 years.
"We have been demanding this for the past 10 years. Doctors working in many other state governments and central government are given promotion like this," he said adding even a government committee in Tamil Nadu had recommended it a couple of months ago. When contacted by PTI, state Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan refused to comment.
Meanwhile, a report from Coimbatore said outpatient services in various government hospitals in the district and in neighbouring Tirupur district were affected due to the protest.
(With inputs from agencies.)