No stipend since 8 months: GMC Cuddalore MBBS interns on strike

Published On 2022-01-20 06:00 GMT   |   Update On 2022-01-20 06:00 GMT

Cuddalore: The MBBS interns of Government Medical College in Cuddalore have been on strike for almost a week now as they have not received their stipend for the last eight consecutive months. The interns have not been paid a stipend since their appointment on May 23, 2021. Showing support, the PG medicos have also joined the protest from today.One of the members of the Cuddalore...

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Cuddalore: The MBBS interns of Government Medical College in Cuddalore have been on strike for almost a week now as they have not received their stipend for the last eight consecutive months.

The interns have not been paid a stipend since their appointment on May 23, 2021. Showing support, the PG medicos have also joined the protest from today.

One of the members of the Cuddalore Medical College Students' Body stated that the interns have been involved in all duties including running vaccination camps. However, the government did not take any steps to pay them stipends on par with their counterparts in other government medical colleges. Almost 150 MBBS students and 100 dental students are protesting for their stipends.
The doctors already had a conversation with DME but they clarified that they would only withdraw the strike after written assurances.
The intern doctors were given Rs 3000 as a stipend in 2020 while the other government colleges under Health and Family Welfare Department get Rs 25000 per month. However, they have not been paid even that amount for the last 8 months after the government took over the college. Previously, Medical Dialogues reported that in 2021 government issued an order stating that the Rajah Muthiah Medical College would be taken over by the Tamil Nadu government and it would come under the ambit of the state Department of Health and Family Welfare after which it came to be known as Government Medical College, Cuddalore.


Explaining the situation, Dr Deva Raja Muthaiah told Medical Dialogues, " The students held a 54-day long protest from December 2020 demanding a reduction of fees after being taken over by the government and the chief minister promised that we would be treated like any other medical college under HFW Department. However, our stipend was not revised though the interns of Erode Medical College, which had the same situation as us is getting Rs 25000 during the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship (CRRI)."
Another intern doctor, Dr Somu Sennakrishnan stated, " When we are asking for stipend in line of other government colleges, authorities are referring to a GO issued on October 2021 which stated that the fee for UG and PG courses should be on par with the fees fixed in Private unaided medical colleges and as there was no provision of stipend for self-financing colleges, we would not get it. However, what about the NMC norm which clearly says that every intern under the same authority is eligible for the same amount of stipend. It is clear discrimination and now even we are not getting paid the minimal Rs 3000 as stipend."
After that, the intern doctors decided to boycott their regular duties from January 14th demanding payment of stipends.
Meanwhile, a circular informing about the hostel's closure was issued on January 17, and the interns were asked to vacate the hostel by 11 AM after the interns refused to withdraw their strike. " I have extended my services as an intern even during the first and second waves of COVID. Now that I am demanding my stipend after almost one year, I am not getting even Rs 3000 per month. The CRRIs are protesting for a very genuine demand of being paid stipend for their internship. The administration has acted cruelly by closing the hostel and we were given just hours to vacate the hostel", added Dr Muthaiah.


After a meeting with the higher authorities, Cuddalore Government Medical College Hospital Senior Physicians and Practitioners Association and Trainee Doctors' Body have yesterday stated in a press release, " Cuddalore Government Medical College and Dental College trainees have been protesting for the seventh day in a row for the last few months demanding unpaid allowances. In this situation, the senior doctors also joined the attention demonstration for their demand as they have not been given any subsidy for the last 9 months. Director of Medical Education Narayana Babu was present for the talks on behalf of the government today. The discussion meeting, which included the Director of Medical Education, the College Principal, General Medicine and Dental Practitioners and Senior Physicians, lasted more than three hours."
It was further stated that the Cuddalore Government Medical College and Dental College would consider the reasonable request to provide scholarships to trainee doctors and postgraduates as it is offered in other government medical colleges. The DME also promised to hold a consultative meeting with government officials in Chennai next Saturday regarding all the demands. " The Government of Tamil Nadu and the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu are the only hope for our minds which are working day and night and are heavily indebted. We are waiting on the battlefield in the hope that a good result will be achieved", the statement added. 





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