April 17, 2021 6:23:52 am
The Gujarat government announced that medical interns from undergraduate courses, will receive an additional Rs 5,000 for Covid-19 duty, apart from the monthly stipend of Rs 13,000. However, this is merely an extension of a December 2020 resolution wherein the health department had announced that medical interns will be eligible for an additional Rs 5000 honorarium for Covid-19 duty, effective from April 2020 until February 2021. The decision came by a government resolution dated April 12.
The Gujarat Intern Doctors’ Association, representing approximately 3,000 intern doctors across Gujarat primarily those in government or government-aided medical colleges, meanwhile wrote to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on April 15, seeking that the overall stipend be increased, as a revision in the stipend amount is mandated every three years. The last revision was as of 2018.
Meanwhile, medical interns at two private medical colleges — CU Shah Medical College in Surendranagar and Pramukhswami Medical College in Anand — are protesting against a meagre stipend with no additional Covid-19 duty honorarium being paid. An intern doctor from Pramukhswami Medical College said their monthly stipend is Rs 5,000, which also currently involves upto 12 hours of duty in COVID19 wards.
“Nearly 90 of us are sitting on strike since 3 pm on April 16. We have also given written representation to our dean but we have seen no response. We will continue this indefinitely,” the intern doctor added.
Both hospitals are seeing their Covid wards managed by resident doctors as the intern doctors boycott work. The interns however have said they will continue working in emergency wards during their protest. Across the state, Indian Medical Association chapters said that they would assist the state in managing Covid-19 cases, working in tandem with the district administrations. At Rajkot, 120 IMA-affiliated doctors have pledged to serve at the Samras COVID care centre and in Bhuj- Kutch, IMA chapter added that it will establish a helpline to aid COVID19 patients.
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