Junior resident doctors of five government colleges in Nagpur, Akola, Aurangabad, Ambejogai (Beed) and Latur have not received their stipends for some months. They also claimed the government had failed to honour an agreement made with them in 2015 to hike stipends every three years. On Monday, students of GMC Aurangabad demonstrated on the hospital premises with fruit carts and banners. A similar demonstration will take place outside Sion Hospital in Mumbai on Tuesday.
In Nagpur and Ambejogai, residents sported black arm bands.
“The situation is causing distress. …many of us are married, we need to pay college fees and look after families. The annual fees for residents is nearly Rs 80,000. Many paid their thesis submission fees with credit cards,” said Vinay Bajaj, general secretary of central MARD.
The monthly stipends paid to first year, second year and third year junior residents is Rs 53,800, Rs 54300 and Rs 54,800 respectively, he added.
DMER chief Dr Pravin Shingare said the issue arose due to delayed action by college administrations. “When colleges have less money, they are expected to write to the DMER four months prior stating the amount of money present and required. Most colleges contacted the DMER after the last date for releasing funds got over,” he said, assuring that the residents would receive lumpsum money in January first week. Earlier, when a college ran out of funds, money was released from the emergency fund, a practice that was recently stopped by the treasurer, said Dr Shingare.
“Delay in stipends is an on-and-off situation for the past six months. The last stipend hike was in July 2015, which was applicable from January 2016. According to the agreement made by the government in March 2015, a hike could be expected every three years,” said Dr Lokesh Chirwatkar, adding that a hike in stipend was expected in August this year.