Junior doctors' stir continues in Bihar

The junior doctors have struck work demanding introduction of salary system, instead of stipends, under the residency scheme. As of now, they get a monthly stipend of Rs 13,000 in the first year, Rs 14,000 in the second and Rs 15,000 in the third year of post-graduation.

“For the last one year, we have been demanding salary under the residency scheme as in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. But, instead of ameliorating our grievances, the Bihar government is now contemplating taking action against us. This will further deepen the crisis,” said president of the Junior Doctors’ Association Dr Rajiv Babu.

The Nitish regime, which had offered to raise the monthly stipend to Rs 25,000, is, however, not willing to concede the junior doctors’ demand for a regular salary. “How can the PG students get salary? After all, they are studying, and residency is part of the curriculum,” argued Bihar Health Minister Nand Kishore Yadav, making a fresh appeal to the medicos to call off the agitation.

Meanwhile, several wards of the PMCH on Sunday wore a deserted look despite the Bihar government deploying doctors from private nursing homes and state-run hospitals to man the emergency section. According to hospital sources, as against an average daily patient inflow of 400 in three emergency wards of the PMCH, the figure had come down to 60. With the “deadlock” hampering health services, attendants and guardians have preferred to shift their patients to nearby nursing homes for treatment.

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