Intern doctors of 14 government and Gujarat Medical Education & Research Society (GMERS)-run medical colleges, who had suspended work since the past three days, protesting against their low monthly stipend, decided to join back on duty after Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the Health portfolio, assured them on Wednesday that their demands will be heard in the next couple of days.
With Vadodara BJP unit president Dr Vijay Shah acting as the mediator in the evening meeting of Wednesday, 15 intern representatives at Gandhinagar office of Patel, were informed that their concerns and demands will be heard. In light of this assurance, the interns have decided to withdraw their strike.
Patel said, “Today a delegation met me in the evening, with BJP Vadodara unit chief professor Vijay Shah. The meeting went on for one-and-half to two hours where I told them to withdraw the strike unconditionally and to join back on duty immediately and to work towards timely completion of their internship period… We will all then sit together and work on their demands…They will join back on duty starting tomorrow. In some days, appropriate decisions will be taken, consider their demands and accordingly the government’s decision will be announced…”
Around 2,000 interns had suspended work since Monday, after their repeated demands for a monthly stipend on par with that paid by other state governments to their medical interns, and an additional honorarium for interns who are on Covid-19 duty, saw no response from the Gujarat health department.
An intern of BJ Medical College said that they have also put forth a demand to count their internship duty as part of their medical bond service.