Medical interns and post graduate doctors serving at Government Wenlock Hospital, Regional Advanced Paediatric Care Centre (Wenlock Hospital) and Lady Goschen Hospital, staged a protest demanding the release of stipend which has not been paid to them for the past eight months, in front of Wenlock Hospital here, on Monday.
The protesters threatened to stage an indefinite protest from November 1, if the issue was sorted out by the end of this month.
They said that the stipend had been paid to them since March, 2018.
A total of 51 house surgeons (medical interns) and 38 Post Graduate doctors, who had qualified through K-CET and enrolled in merit seat in KMC, had been serving in Wenlock and Lady Goschen Hospitals since March. “We are toiling hard and yet we are denied the stipend due to us,” the protesters said.
“We form the backbone of the health care system at government hospitals and have tirelessly served the patients. The casualty, emergency wards, ICU, labour theatre and out-patient departments would be crippled without our service. We are struggling to pay EMI on educational loans borrowed and bills of mess. The non payment of stipend which is our sole source of income, has rendered us desperate,” the students stressed.
The house surgeons received a monthly stipend of Rs 20,000, while PG students around Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000 for the first, second and third year of their services.
They have blamed the Department of Medical Education for the neglect. However, the department had refused to release stipend citing objections from Principal Accountant General.
“A year ago, Principal Accountant-General had objected to paying stipends to students from a private medical College. The interns and PG students serving in Davangere district hospital and Wenlock and Lady Goschen Hospitals are facing the problem of non payment of stipends,” they added.
A delegation of students had recently met Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Health and Family Welfare Minister Shivananda Patil and Medical Education Minister D K Shivakumar and submitted their representations.
“Though all of them assured us of action, no concrete decisions has been taken to release the stipend amount so far, ” the protesting students said.
Wenlock Hospital Superintendent Dr H Rajeshwaridevi said, “I had drawn the attention of Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Sentil S and he in turn had written a letter to the Directorate of Medical Education. He is hoping for a positive outcome by the end of this month. In fact, the government order of 2004-05 entitles medical interns and PG students of a stipend. We have appealed to government to release the stipend amount, as these students have been serving in the district hospitals.”