New Delhi: Nearly a week after more than 15,000 government doctors affiliated to Government Doctors Association launched an indefinite strike, Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar cautioned them saying if they do not resume work, break in service orders will be issued.

“If they (doctors) continue their protest, break in service orders will be issued to them. Their posts will be announced as vacant,” the Health Minister said, adding that the government will not hesitate in making fresh appointments.

The strike that began on October 25 has entered its seventh day on Thursday, and the Tamil Nadu government has given the striking doctors time till 2 PM, following which a list of doctors who do not turn up for duty would be drawn up and sent to the respective directorates of the health department.

Health Minister Vijayabaskar also mentioned that more than 10,000 had appeared for recruitment exams for doctors following the government’s notification through the MRB, of which nearly 1850 were shortlisted. As a result, there will be no hesitation in replacing the striking doctors with the new ones, he said.

Over 15,000 government doctors affiliated to the Federation of Government Doctors Association had launched the indefinite stir across the State demanding a 4-point charter of demands, including time-bound promotions.

The government had earlier held talks with the striking body to hear out their demands and was considering providing the doctors with special allowances keeping in mind qualifications and difficulties related to postings. However, it strongly condemned the strike as it started affecting the patients.

“Keeping in mind patients’ welfare and to ensure that services in government hospitals are not affected, I appeal to the government doctors to withdraw the strike and resume work,” Vijayabaskar said.

As a result, the health ministry has decided to take all necessary steps against the doctors if they do not end the protest in the stipulated time.