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Govt has a fall-back plan

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday said the government would "restore hospital services from Wednesday, come what may".

india Updated: May 31, 2006 02:58 IST

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday said the government would "restore hospital services from Wednesday, come what may".

Ramadoss said the prime minister had asked him to take all possible steps to maintain services at hospitals. He said the government would not invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act as it had other options. "We'll ask army and railways doctors to work and will recruit new doctors," he said.

Last week, the government's efforts to hire temporary doctors had failed as protesters "persuaded" applicants to turn back. "That experience will not be repeated. This time people will be recruited," said Ramadoss.

The minister said the government was "disheartened" by the medicos' response to talks. "Doctors have the right to air their views but not during duty hours," he said. "Two weeks is too long a period and poor patients are suffering because of the strike."

First Published: May 31, 2006 02:58 IST