Junior docs seek hike in stipend

Post-graduate students denied their weekly off as well; Case pending in High Court


The Karnataka State Junior Doctors Association (KSJDA) has been demanding a hike since June 2008. Memoranda were submitted to the government in September and November 2008. Currently, a House Surgeon gets a stipend of Rs 6,000 per month, and a post-graduate receives Rs 11,000 per month.

The Maharashtra Government reportedly increased the junior doctors’ stipend by Rs 7,000 recently. “We were on strike for one week, and the government agreed to our demand on July 14. It has increased the stipend by Rs 7,000,” Dr Jeevan Rajput, the president of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) told Deccan Herald.
The Health Minister of Tamil Nadu announced the stipend hike in the Assembly on July 17. President of the Tamil Nadu Medical and Dental Non-service PGs and CRRI Association Dr Maria Subison said, “While preparing a comparative report on stipend, we dropped Karnataka from our list as the junior doctors there are receiving less stipend.” Doctors in TN have got 95 per cent hike in stipend.

The KSJDA had gone on an indefinite strike in May, demanding better medical facilities, security for doctors, and increase in stipend.

However, the strike had to be withdrawn as the High Court took suo motu notice and ordered hospitals to take stringent action - including suspending or cancelling medical certificates.

A post-graduate student who was part of the strike lamented that the media focussed on the plight of the patients visiting the hospital but failed to understand the problems of junior doctors working in government hospitals. A final year PG student from a government hospital said that junior doctors “work like donkeys and are paid pittance for the service besides being harassed by hospitals.”

The junior doctors get no weekly offs either. Dean and Director of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) Dr G T Subhash confirmed that post-graduate students are not given off days. “It is learning time for PG students. If doctors learn now, then they can manage by themselves when they start working independently,” he observed.

Medical Education Director Dr A R Aruna said that the government is helpless, as the case is now pending in the High Court.  “It is not just the issue of stipend. Doctors went on strike demanding better facilities and availability of drugs in government hospitals,” she said. 

Sufferings
*Post-graduate students do not get a weekly off, they work seven days a week.
*Post-graduate students get only 12 leaves in a year.
*Stipend gets deducted if any post-graduate student goes on unsanctioned leave.
*Post-graduate students are made to work 36 hours at a stretch.
*PG students have to constantly switch between ICU, Emergency and General Wards on a daily basis.




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