Former Chief Minister and ousted AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam has reiterated the demands of Tamil Nadu government doctors regarding the implementation of a Government Order (GO) pertaining to their seniority and pay structure. This GO was issued in 2009 during the tenure of the former DMK government.
Panneerselvam criticized the current state government for failing to meet the demands of government doctors and accused the DMK of running a “fascist-style government” under the guise of a Dravidian Model government. He called upon the present DMK administration to enforce G.O. No. 354 issued in 2009 and withdraw any actions taken against representatives of doctors’ associations who were planning to stage a protest, as reported by The Hindu.
Earlier, around 1000 government doctors, including members of the Federation of Government Doctors’ Associations (FOGDA), had staged a protest to press for their long-standing demand for periodic pay revisions and other issues.
Panneerselvam expressed his support for the protesting doctors, emphasizing that using protests to voice their grievances is not unjust. He urged the government to listen to the doctors’ concerns and address them accordingly.
He referenced various reports indicating that actions had been taken against representatives of several doctors’ associations that had planned to protest on October 30 to voice their demands. Panneerselvam remarked that the Chief Minister should remember his earlier statement as the opposition leader when he asserted that staging a protest was the right and duty of government doctors. He criticized the government for taking disciplinary actions against the protesting doctors, stating that the DMK government is not committed to implementing the GO and is instead resorting to retaliatory measures against the doctors’ association leaders. He called for the revocation of orders targeting the office-bearers of government doctors’ associations.
In July 2009, the then DMK government in Tamil Nadu established a committee in response to a request from the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association. The committee was tasked with examining promotional opportunities for government doctors at various levels. Following the committee’s recommendations, the government issued G.O.(Ms) No. 354 through the Health and Family Welfare Department to address these matters.
Panneerselvam also recalled a promise made by the current Chief Minister, M K Stalin, when he was the Leader of the Opposition in 2019. At that time, Stalin had assured the protesting government doctors in Chennai that he would implement GO 354, which had been passed by the DMK government under M Karunanidhi to enhance the pay and promotional prospects of government doctors. Stalin had supported the protesting doctors, affirming their right to protest.