Pune: Around 2,800 medical interns in government hospitals across the State will go on a strike from June 13. They are demanding an increase in the stipend.
The Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI), Maharashtra, alleged that even after repeated promises from the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), there has been no implementation of the promises.
A medical intern in Maharashtra gets Rs 6,000 per month for a year of internship after MBBS. Other states, including Bihar, pay Rs 15,000, Assam pays Rs 21,000 and Karnataka pays Rs 18,000 per month as a stipend to medical interns.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Darshan Kalal, President of ASMI, said that the medical fee in Maharashtra is the highest as compared to other states. “However, the stipend for Maharashtra is the lowest. Rajasthan has only Rs 2,000 as fees and their stipend is Rs 8,000. If Maharashtra can charge Rs 78,000 per annum, then why can’t the government pay us enough to sustain ourselves,” said Kalal.
Speaking about their working conditions in Maharashtra, Ketan Deshmukh, from ASMI, BJ General Medical College (BJGMC), said that the given stipend is not sufficient. “We work for around 32 hours at a stretch. During this time, interns have to look after emergency cases and in some departments, also attend to post emergency cases. This schedule is mandatory for everyone at least once a week despite the regular shifts that we work in,” said Deshmukh.
He added, “If we roughly calculate, the given stipend makes it Rs 200 per day which does not even help interns in catering to food and lodging.”
“We are just demanding an increase in the stipend so that we can at least survive,” Deshmukh said.
“Also, the DMER has confirmed that we shall get the increase in stipend every year in 2015. However, there has been no increment. We are trying to speak to the authorities for the past two months, but nothing has been done. Hence, we have decided to resort to the strike,” he added.