Updated: June 5, 2019 7:57:01 am
The Association of State Medical Interns, Maharashtra, has protested against the meagre stipend of Rs 6,000 per month and threatened to go on a strike unless their demand for a higher stipend was accepted.
“We have requested a meeting with the state medical education minister by June 11 to resolve our grievances, failing which we will strike work,” said Dr Nikhil Mamoria, joint secretary, Association of State Medical Interns, Maharashtra.
Medical interns are students who have cleared MBBS exams and are completing a year of training at the hospital, said the association’s members.
There are nearly 2,500 interns in medical colleges and 200 in dental colleges in the state, who form a major chunk of support staff at public hospitals.
Interns help in routine procedures such as blood collection, sutures, dressings, managing reports and providing immediate assistance to patients in the absence of a senior doctor. They also assist senior doctors during surgeries and follow-ups.
The stipend paid to medical interns in Maharashtra is lower than that of other states like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Medical interns across the state have demanded an increase in their stipends to Rs 16,500 a month, and structured work hours with at least a weekly off, said Mamoria. Currently, their shift stretches for anything between 12 and 36 hours.
“We were promised a stipend hike by State Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan last year… but it has not come to fruition. Our stipend was last increased in 2012. It has been increased in several states since then. Tamil Nadu has increased the stipend of interns from Rs 13,000 to Rs 20,000 with effect from April 2018. On January 1 this year, the Union health ministry hiked the stipend for interns in central government’s medical colleges from Rs 17,000 to Rs 23,500 per month with retrospective effect from January 1, 2018,” said Mamoria.
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