Posts Tagged ‘Medical’

Interns’ Hunger Strike in Maharashtra- Updated

UPDATES- Day 6

Hunger strike continues as the government refuses to the current demands and puts the condition of ending the strike before any further discussions. I wonder if anyone would listen if the strike is called off, and it would be another failed effort.

The point that government is putting is that they cannot increase the stipend 6 times. May I ask what was the justification of paying peanuts all these years when all other states have revised the stipends? That collective injustice over many years has led to this hunger strike. The interns are just asking for a stipend that is comparable to other states and the central government colleges, nothing else. Is it unjustified?

Are the employees of Maharashtra Government paid 1/4th of the salaries of their counterparts elsewhere? If yes, we accept the current stipend. If no, we deserve a revision to bring us at par at least with the less well off states of Bihar and UP, where the cost of living is considerably lower. 

Here are the updated links for today- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Med-interns-stir-Stand-off-over-stipend-continues/articleshow/8183670.cms

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/BJMC-interns-demand-stipend-hike/articleshow/8181987.cms

This link states that the Maharashtra government itself said previously that the stipend should be at least 40% of resident doctors-http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_400-interns-on-hunger-strike_1538800

The Hunger strike by interns in Maharashtra has entered its 5th Day. The is a deadlock over the issue of stipend and the government says it can not increase the stipend six times. I agree partially. It is true that it is difficult to consider a sudden increase in the stipend. I can think of these points to justify the demand:
1) Equal pay for equal work- There should be some standards according to which stipends of interns and resident doctors across the country are fixed. Every state fixes an arbitrary amount, which is often the cause of dis-satisfaction.

2) The Central Government has recommended the stipend of interns to be 50% of resident doctors. The residents in Maharashtra get Rs 24000.

3) Interns work for 48 hours a week, no less than their seniors. After completion of 4 1/2 years of study, they need to be economically independent from their families. They need to pay for accommodation, food, books- these are basic necessities and justify the demand of Rs. 13000.
Here are the links of recent news updates on the issue-

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Medicos-stir-enters-fifth-day/articleshow/8172625.cms
http://educationtimes.com/educationTimes/CMSD/Newsroom/1/20110505201105051510442792edc0f4a/Seven-medical-interns-hospitalised-on-second-day-of-hunger-strike.html

A blog entry on the issue by another blogger- http://gentianviolet.blogspot.com/2011/05/day-4-of-medical-interns-hunger-strike.html?showComment=1304683318001#c4118044898201910950

I felt sorry to read the comments of ignorant people on various news articles, who said- Why choose medical field if you can’t accept the stipend? May I ask- Instead of demanding what is our right, should we quit? Has anybody asked any IT engineer why he gets 4 lakhs per annum average package as soon as he gets out of his college, while getting into medical is much more difficult, the course is much longer and needs much more dedication to complete.

I FEEL SORRY FOR LIVING IN A COUNTRY THAT COMPELS ITS DOCTORS TO GO ON HUNGER STRIKE JUST FOR DEMANDING THE RIGHT OF A DIGNIFIED LIVING.

Anna Hazare effect has given us a method of protest which was in the oblivion, if not forgotten altogether, and the latest ones to follow are interns of medical colleges across Maharashtra.

Maharashtra, in spite of being a relatively well off state, gives the lowest stipend to its intern doctors and telling you the exact figure makes me feel shameful as even I got the same money, it is Rs 2550 per month. In other states, it ranges from Rs 7000 to Rs 17000. There can be no justification for the current stipend, looking at the current cost of living. Also, in most of the colleges, interns have no hostel facilities and have to live in rented premises. Interns in Maharashtra have to work for at least 48hrs per week with emergency duties  every week. So on an average, we are paid Rs 10 per hour. Even an unskilled labourer is paid more.

The good part is that the government agrees, after lots of negotiations and meetings that the stipend needs to be reconsidered. The interns demand Rs 13000 per month, comparable to their counterparts in other states, and this demand is not un-justified. The government has refused to this figure. So, the interns have no option but to strike. They chose hunger strike- This is their courage.  When it comes to blaming the doctors of studying here and leaving for greener pastures in the west, none of us lags behind, but tell me who among the engineers would not drool over the chance to go- ‘on site’, barring few exceptions. The government has absolutely no right to dictate terms on where we would serve until it can provide decent salaries to the doctors, who study for the maximum number of years, our degree takes 51/2 years to complete, if we are lucky. The stipend from internship is a right and demanding it is a necessity, to lighten the burden that our parents shoulder.

I hope that good sense prevails on Maharashtra Government.

Here are few links about the issue.

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?Page=article&sectname=News%20-%20City&sectid=2&contentid=2011032320110323022132242f18b0f06

http://www.afternoondc.in/city-news/state-medical-interns-to-go-on-hunger-strike/article_23407

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1989249.ece

http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/PUBLICATIONS/HT/HM/2011/05/03/ArticleHtmls/400-medical-interns-in-city-go-on-hunger-03052011014004.shtml?Mode=1

This link is regarding- The right of doctors to go on strike. http://kirtitandel.blogspot.com/2011/02/should-doctors-go-on-strike_24.html?m=0

Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.