PUNE: The medical interns’ strike continued across Maharashtra on Thursday for the second day. Resident doctors at government hospitals faced a heavy work load as around 2,800 interns are on strike, seeking a hike in their stipend.
Officials from the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) are in talks with members of Association of Medical Interns (ASMI) to resolve the matter. Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Sarang Donarkar, President of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), JJ Hospital in Mumbai, said there is more work burden on resident doctors due to the ongoing strike.
“The interns help a lot with day-to-day work. Hence, work shifts have become hectic for resident doctors. However, MARD is supporting their cause. We will continue to work even if there is burden. Even as a intern myself, we received very less stipend. In a city like Mumbai or Pune, Rs 6,000 cannot help them survive,” said Dr Donarkar.
Dr Donarkar said the number of interns in cities like Pune and Mumbai is comparatively less. “However in rural areas such as Akola, interns play a very important role. They manage a lot of things at hospitals as well,” said Donarkar. Patients in Pune-based government hospitals faced inconvenience, resident doctors here are supporting the medical interns.
Speaking about the rural burden, Dr Ajay Vane, General Secretary, MARD, BJ General Medical College (BJGMC) and Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) said the number of residents in rural government hospitals is less. Hence, the impact is more there. “But the resident doctors are supporting the interns. We are managing without any grievance. The DMER should increase their stipend. There were also talks that the DMER agreed to increase the stipend, but funds haven’t been released from the finance minister for the State,” said Dr Vane.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Darshan Kalal, President, ASMI, Maharashtra, said the association continued with the state-wide strike for the second day as the issue at hand is not resolved. “We are trying to contact officials regarding our demand. We want the stipend to be increased to Rs 15,000 per month. This should be made applicable from February, 2018. Moreover, we are demanding a periodic increment in stipend so that such agitations do not occur in the future,” said Kalal.