Tamil Nadu doctors, nurses go on strike against murder

Chennai, January 4, 2012

Functioning of government hospitals across Tamil Nadu was badly affected following a strike by doctors, nurses and house surgeons condemning the murder of a woman civil surgeon in the southern Tuticorin district on the night of January 2.
Reports received here said doctors struck work from 0700 hrs today demanding stringent action, including capital punishment, to the four-member gang, who had hacked to death 50-year-old civil surgeon Dr Seetharamalakshmi in front of her clinic at Kamarajar
Nagar while she was attending patients.
Condemning the murder, local doctors launched a stir today and the Indian Medical Council has called for a state-wide one-day strike on January 5.
Doctors of government and private Hospitals in the district as well as students of the Tuticorin Medical College Hospital staged agitations demanding immediate arrest of the assailants and seeking adequate protection to doctors.
As the killing of the lady doctor sent shock waves in the medical fraternity, doctors, nurses and civil surgeons in all government hospitals and medical college students observed a strike to register their protest and to demand the arrest of auto driver Magesh (27), who allegedly committed the murder, along with his friends to wreak vengeance against the civil surgeon for failing to save his pregnant wife and the child in her womb.
Functioning of government hospitals, especially out-patient services, were hit in almost all parts of the state.
Reports received here said doctors in government hospitals at Madurai, Coimbatore, Ramanathapuram, Tiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Namakkal, Erode, Salem, Dindugul, Sivaganga, Kancheepuram, Krishnagiri, Vellore, Tutiorin, and other districts struck work. 
Some of the doctors of private hospitals also pledged their support to the strike. 
In Chennai, doctors of Madras Medical College stayed away from the strike, though about 250 students of Kilpauk Medical College, and other colleges staged a demonstration demanding action against the assailant and his gang.
Functioning of Government General Hospital in Chennai, which has 800 doctors and 300 surgeons, however, was not affected as doctors and surgeons did not participate in the stir.
As more than 3,000 out-patients visit the hospital on a daily basis, the doctors, in deference to the wishes expressed by Medical College Dean Dr Kanakasabai, stayed away from the strike, in a bid to serve the patients.
Dr Kanagasabai, while condemning the murder of the civil surgeon in Tuticorin, said the medical fraternity, instead of resorting to agitations like strikes, should draw the attention of the government to their problems and get it redressed.
"Strike is not the solution and I don't believe in it. We can put our demands in writing and give it to the government seeking protection," he said, adding, agitations in the form of striking work was unwarranted as it would affect the patients to a great extent.
Meanwhile, Dr Jayalal, General Secretary of the Indian Medical Council, taking a serious note of the incident, said about 26,000 doctors, attached to the Council would go on strike for a day tomorrow to protest against the murder. About 3,000 hospitals would also join the strike, he added.

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