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    Nurses make noise at hospitals

    CHENNAI: Protesting against the State’s decision to fill nursing vacancies across the State by allowing nurses from private institutes to appear for a common selection exam, nursing students in all of the city’s government-run teaching hospitals staged a massive stir on Tuesday. Nursing students (both B Sc Nursing and Nursing Diploma) staged a demonstration protesting the government order initially inside the gates of the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. However, as the numbers began to swell and the slogans calling for ‘non-allowance of private nurses’ became louder, the protest spilled out on to the Poonamallee High Road. As this outpouring of nursing students began to affect the movement of vehicles and ambulances, police swu-ng into action and attempted to stop them. According to witnesses, a moment of friction triggered a few fisticuffs and the 495 students had to be evicted and detained at a community hall.A source at the GGH confirmed that no representatives had agreed to come forward and talk the matter out, nor make their demands known. “We have informed Health Minister Dr V S Vijay and we are managing quite well with all the duty nurses,” said a source. A note handed out by the protesting students listed their demands, but also carried the puzzling disclaimer that “they were not against the appointment of private nursing students in government hospitals.” Aware that a similar situation could occur in the other teaching hospitals, police posted security and riot control at the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital as well as at the Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital. By mid-morning 300 nursing students of KMCH staged a sit-in protest. After a while, they also moved to the gates and locked themselves in. Police sources said the detained nursing students had been released after dusk. The police build-up was ridiculed by most duty nurses, though, because, “the number of policemen seemed much more than the actual protestors.”