Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA) is a service association for Govt. Doctors of Tamilnadu. It was founded in 1969 in the name of Tamil Nadu Assistant Surgeons Association by Dr Angamuthu and Dr Kailasam in Nagaipattinam. It was one of the very few service associations for gazetted officers at that time. It was accorded recognition by the Govt. of Tamilnadu vide G.O. (Ms) 1780 of the Public Department dated 07.10.1969.
TNGDA has been a strictly apolitical organization - non-partisan to caste, religion or language. The association was always functioning within the confines of a service association in a democratic manner. Since 1969, the association which was first started with few hundred members has grown with time and is at present 13562 strong and still growing.
Like our country, the TNGDA also is a good example for unity in diversity. This organization unitedly fights for the demands of 10a1/ MRB recruited freshers, the senior most members for their Dean, JD promotions, Medical college Professors/ faculty to PHC/ESI doctors, the hard pressed CEmONC/ Casualty doctors. The association was able to deliver in all the demands of these multi-category members as the only association tirelessly fighting for service doctors.
In 1960s, the Medical Services of our state had one Medical Services Association based in Chennai led by Dr. Rathinavel Subramanian and One Associate Professors Association based in Madurai led by Dr. Asirvatham from Madurai. These associations were informal and were doing more of academics than service issues.
Later, in 1969, when Dr Balakrishnan from Railway Hospital was posted as Director of Medical Services, he encouraged the demand for a active service association, and the TamilNadu Assistant Surgeon Association (TNASA) was formed. Dr Angamuthu from Nagaipattinam and Dr Kailasam from Cuddalore founded the TNASA in 1969 at Nagaipattinam.
In 1972, the first State Conference of TNGDA (the then TNASA) was held in Madras. Honourable Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, then, Doctor Kalaignar participated in the conference. Dr Darmalingam was the State President at that time. The second conference was held in Madurai.
Subsequently leaders like Dr Krishnamoorthy from Chennai, Dr Sethu, Dr Rajappa, Dr. Murugaiyan from Madurai, all led the TNASA. When private medical colleges were started, new leaders like Dr K.Bose, Dr K.Prakasam, Dr Krishnakumar, Dr Rex Sargunam emerged to oppose them.
In 1985, the TNASA was registered under Indian Societies Act at Madras North – Registration number 215/1985. In 1993 when Dr Prakasam, Dr Krishnakumar, Dr Bose and Dr Vijay were running the association, the TNASA was changed to TNGDA and the last by-laws were registered.
In 1986 the first agitation of TNGDA was called for demanding extra salary for Allopathic doctors over their Siddha doctors. Fasting in front of MMC was held with Dr Ponnudurai as the State President and Dr Prakasam as the State Secretary. In 1987, the first “one Day Strike” was called demanding “One Cadre Above”. Dr Prakasam was the President and Dr Bose was the Secretary then. Consequently, the NPA was enhanced from Rs 150 to Rs 300. Non Clinical Special Pay of Rs 150 was given.
In 1992, demanding promotional opportunities in the IV Pay Commission agitation was organized and the cadres of Assistant Civil Surgeon, Deputy Civil Surgeon and Civil Surgeon were created. (Hence TNASA was renamed as TNGDA)These posts were created and designated based on CML (total of 750 posts) and are not vacancy based.
In 1998, V Pay Commisison agitation got us 4 cadres of Assistant Surgeon, Senior Assistant Surgeon, Civil Surgeon and in addition Senior Civil Surgeon.(2000 self drawing posts both DME and DMS together)
In 2009, the “Historical G.O. 354” – conferring the dream demand of “Time Bound Promotions” was issued. Later G.O. 245 was issued in 2013 facilitating the “Time Bound Promotions” in 8, 15, 17 and 20 years. On completion of 20 years the coveted pb4 scale was given to all doctors. Thus Govt. Doctors joined with IAS/ IPS as the only other cadre to get pb4 scale in a time bound manner. Till then only 67 posts including our HODs got the pb4 scale. After the G.O, 3500 got it – without an upper limit, up to 5000.can get it sometime.
Phases in TNGDA …
Thus the history of TNGDA can be divided into 3 phases;
First, the initial phase of formation and growth. In this phase, TNGDA represented the demands and plight of Govt. doctors with the higher officials and Govt., discussed, argued and achieved. This phase lasted from inception till 1985. The stalwarts among the leaders during this phase were the founders Dr Angamuthu (Nagaipattinam) and Dr Kailasam (Cuddalore), Dr Krishnamoorthy (Chennai), Dr Sethu, Dr Rajappa, Dr Murugaiyan (from Madurai),
The significant achievements during the period were…
* Compensatory leave
* Recruitment by TNPSC since 1982 etc.
Second phase (1985-2007) is of growth and consolidation. Led by leaders like Dr Prakasam from Salem, Dr Krishnakumar from Coimbatore, Dr Vijay from Vellore, Dr Bose from Madurai, Dr Rex Sargunam from Chennai, the TNGDA (formerly called TNASA) changed the style of functioning - from representation and argument to demands and agitation. The first strike was organized on 23.02.1987 demanding pay 4 cadres and “time bound promotions”. In this phase, strikes and other agitations were announced and demands put forth. There were other illustrious leaders like Dr Muthurajan from Kanyakumari, Dr Sundaram from Chennai, Dr Somasundaram, Dr Chandraprakasam, Dr Arulsamy from Madurai making the association active and vibrant during this phase.
This phase primarily belongs to the leadership of Dr KP (Dr K.Prakasam) and Dr K.K (Dr Krishnakumar). The period saw the unmatched rivalry between KP and KK. They were fierce opponents and they won elections alternatively in a healthy and disciplined competition. This rivalry lasted for about a decade till Dr KK retired. Later Dr KP had an unquestioned stint for sometime till the great leader retired.
The important events during this period were…
1.Private Medical College strike when Ramachandra Medical College was first started
2.Pay Commission Strike 1992.
3.2nd Private Medical College strike
4.Pay Commission Strike 1998
5.Service PG strike
6.Fasting against IAS officer posted in Health Department.
7.Agitation against abolishing Honorary system.
8.Agitation against compensation awarded to a doctor in family welfare deaths.
9.Local issues in various districts – Madurai, Perambalur
The significant achievements during this phase were…
2.Over coat allowance in 1991
3.Private Medical Colleges mushrooming was postponed by 15 years.
4.Special/ Personal pay of Rs 150 and NPA hike of Rs 150 - after the first strike in 1987
5.Half Pay for service PGs in 1991 and later Full Pay for Service PGs (1996).
6.Three cadres as ACS, DCS and CS after IV Pay Commission strike.
7.Three cadres of SAS, CS and SCS were formed. 2000 SCS posts were created (1998). Before that most medical officers joined govt. service as Asst. Surg. and retired as Asst. Surg.
9.Posting IAS officers in administrative posts stopped.
10.New postings of Honorary Professors stopped. Honorary system allowed natural death.
11.Maruthamuthu Committee formed. Corpus fund created to pay compensation from the fund.
The second phase was better viewed as the phase of Strength and Pride for the association. The members joined association for pride and security. TNGDA became a mighty organization. On occasions, some people though tried to form rival organisations for the TNGDA, but they failed. The TNASA was renamed as TNGDA in this phase.
Dr Vijay, our State Secretary in early 90’s went on to become the Honourable Health Minister of our state (2011-2012) in the Govt. of our Honourable Chief Minister Dr J.Jayalalitha. This was one of our pride moments of the association. Many former office bearers – Dr Rajappa, Dr Kanagasabhai, the incumbent Dr Geethalakshmi have all become the Directors of our dept.
The TNGDA since 2007 was in the third phase.
Around 2007, the prominent names like KP, KK, along with many other leaders like Dr Muthurajan, Dr Sundaram, Dr Somasundaram, Dr Arulsamy simultaneously retired from service/ association. The vaccum created in the leadership was filled with new faces…
A new team of freshers under Dr Senthil from Madurai, Dr Kanagasabapathy from Tanjore took over the leadership. Though many members had their fingers crossed on the new leadership – especially when the 6th Pay Commission was due, Dr Senthil spear-headed the association towards its goals showing courage, maturity and hard work. Under the new leadership the TNGDA accomplished many demands, hitherto pending for years. With more members and better communication facilities, the TNGDA, this phase was mightier. This period the association used both strike/ agitations and technical/ tactical presentation to achieve its demands.
The prime day of TNGDA is on 06.06.2009 when the historical agreement for Time Bound Promotion (in the name of Person Oriented Promotion) was signed between our leaders (Dr Senthil and Dr Kanagasabapathy) and the Govt. in the early hours of 06.06.2009 with the threat of the massive strike called by TNGDA looming from 7.30 in the morning on the same day. Many other demands hitherto found routinely in our resolutions, now became Government Orders – by aggressive but tactical methods adopted by new leaders.
Many leaders like Dr.Selvapandian (Trichy), Dr.V.K.Rajendran (Madurai), Dr.Boopathy (Ooty), Dr.Ramanathan (Pudukottai), Dr.Kathiresan (Madurai), Dr.LiyakathAli (Nagai), Dr.Selvaganapathy (Chengalpet), Dr.Palaninathan (Ramnad), were part of both phases 2&3. The other prominent names in 3rd phase are Dr.Balakrishnan (Chennai),Dr.M.K.Ponnuraj (Hosur),Dr.Ravisankar (Coimbatore), Dr.Lakshmi Narasiman (Salem),
The G.O. 245 conferring the “Time Bound Promotions” after 8,15,17 and 20 years is yet another historical landmark. Dr Senthil/President, Dr Balakrishnan/Secretary and Dr Ponnuraj/ Treasurer were at the helm of affairs.
The third phase may be known for the association’s strength and achievements. The TNGDA achieved many historical landmarks during the phase.
The important events during the period were…
1.18 months long planned 6th Pay Commission agitations in phased manner, culminating with the “massive strike” called on 06.06.2009.
2.TNGDA led total strike of Govt. & Private Hospitals in Madurai district against arrest of doctors for patient death. (2007)
3.One day state-wide OPD Boycott demanding Hospital Protection Act (2008)
4.One day state-wide OPD Boycott condemning the murder of Dr Sethulakshmi of Tuticorin (04.01.2012)
5.Massive movement against the atrocity of Mr Pankaj Kumar Bansal IAS – federation of 13 associations led by TNGDA (2013)
6.Many district level issues. – against assaults, officers harassment etc.
The significant achievements during this phase were…
1.History Made – G.O. 354 of 23.10.2009 was issued.
2.History Repeated – G.O. 245 of 30.10.2013 was issued.
3.Doctors Arrest Prevention G.O 220 of 2008
4.Hospital Protection Act 48 of 2009
5.PHC timings reduced from 8-5 to 9-4 with call duty only for calamities in 2010.
6.Allowances enhanced and new allowances announced (10.02.2010)
7.Fixing up of seniority to Panchayat Union doctors. (2008)
8.Medical Code updated (2008-2014)
9.Clinical Establishment Act – modified to suit doctors interests (2014)
10. Awards instituted for Best Doctors by the State Govt. and the State Medical Council (2012)
11.Medical Recruitment Board formed on the demand of TNGDA(2013)
12.Mr P.K.Bansal IAS – the most harassing officer ever in our department was transferred by Hon CM after the TNGDA led 13 association Federation was launched.(2013)
13.Casualty Dept started in DMS side – first in 16 headquarters hospital.(2013)
14.Launching TNGDA website (2007). Making it more modernized in 2014.
15.Strengthening the organizational structure of TNGDA.
16. Launching Mass-Reach SMS schemes (2013)
17.Initiating TNGDA-FSS (2014)
18.INITIATING “BUY-YOU” Scheme (2014)
In 2013, the Federation of Medical and Public Health Associations of Tamilnadu was formed under the initiative of TNGDA – a first of its kind in the Health Department. 13 Service Associations - of staff nurses, pharmacists, lab. technicians, ministerial staff, VHNs, Health Inspectors, Hospital workers and others were part of the Federation. Led by our President Dr Senthil as its Convenor, the Federations’ mighty protest against Mr P.K.Bansal had a lightning effect - the officer was shifted. The federation also presented other common issues like creating more posts based on the work load, filling up of the vacancies, avoiding contract appointment above the cadre of hospital/sanitary workers, contract based only on employment seniority for hospital/ sanitary workers etc. Govt. has agreed to consider all the demands positively. The Federation Giant at state level continues under the leadership of TNGDA, but is at present left dormant, waiting for the right issues.
The TNGDA since 2007 is closely coordinating its action with the Indian Medical Association Tamilnadu. Many of the long pending demands of IMA for doctors’ welfare were achieved only with the fierce TNGDA taking up the issues. The TNGDA has very good ties with IMA. Doctors Arrest Prevention G.O, Hospital Protection Act, Best Doctors Awards by Govt. and Medical Council, Private Clinical Establishment Act were some issues where both the organizations worked together.
With the third phase still continuing, the illustrious team of Dr Senthil, Dr Balakrishnan and Dr Ponnuraj lead the 14000 strong TNGDA. Now, with most of the common demands exhausted, the TNGDA is launching many welfare schemes for its members.
Still rival units crop up and vanish, but TNGDA continues to flourish.
“Unity is Strength. Together We Win”
Leaders and Members may come and go, but TNGDA will continue to grow.
“Long Live TNGDA”