Chennai, June 15 : The Post graduate medical students and medical interns across Tamil Nadu wore black badges during work demanding hike in their stipend, complaining that the state is paying the lowest amount as stipend to PG Medics and medical interns.
The PG students and medical interns staged peaceful demonstrations wearing black badges under the umbrella of the Resident Doctors Association, Tamil Nadu. The protest affected the services of several government hospitals in the state.
The main demand of the protesters was to increase the stipend for non-service post graduates, super-specialty doctors, and interns.
Medical Post graduate student association president, Tamil Nadu, M. Keerthy Varman told IANS, "Tamil Nadu is the best in medical care in the country and we PG students and Medical interns are doing 24-hour work. Most of the PGs have crossed the age of 25 years and are married and stipend is the only source of income. We are not asking for more pay but on par with other states in the country." Dr Rajani Arun who is doing Post graduation in gynaecology at a Government Medical College said, "MD and MS students are paid Rs 37,000, Rs 39,500, and Rs 42,000 in the first, second and third year respectively while in Gujarat Medical PGs are paid Rs 84,000, Rs 85,400 and Rs 87,000 a month for the first, second and third year respectively. We demand that we are also paid on par with the PG Medicos of Gujarat." Doctors also said that even the DM students are paid less and with high living expenses in Chennai they are not able to meet both ends. Dr Bijoy Subramanian, a DM student in a prestigious Government Medical College in Chennai said, "I am now 35 and have a family to look after, I am getting a paltry sum with which I cannot manage. If I had gone to a private hospital quitting my studies I would well be getting more than 1.5 lakh a month. This is the main reason why most of the doctors are not continuing to pursue DM or MCh as they will not be able to support their family with the meagre sum and in the long run, the health system of the state will suffer." The Doctors are demanding a stipend of Rs 70,000, Rs 75,000, and Rs 80,000 a month for the first, second and third year respectively for MD/MS doctors while Rs 80,000, Rs 85,000 and Rs 90,000 for the first, second and third-year for DM/MCh students.
The stipend of house surgeons or the Medical interns be raised to Rs 30,000 a month from the existing Rs 21,200 a month. There is also demand for an annual increase of 10 per cent.