Thiruvananthapuram: Subsequent to the recent notification on nurses’ salary, Indian Medical Association (IMA) is all set to approach the Chief Minister and Health Minister demanding fixation of basic salary and the stipend to house surgeons, postgraduate doctors, junior doctors and specialist doctors in private hospitals.
With the said notification the minimum salary of nurses in the state has been increased to Rs 20,000.
Ironically, with the notification in place, nurses in the state would be paid more than what many young doctors are being paid. Medical Dialogues team had published a report last year about the strike at a hospital located in Karakonam by the house surgeons protesting against the meagre stipend of Rs 3,957 per month.
The government order in June 2015 mandated a monthly stipend of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 to house surgeons in all government, private and self-financing medical colleges in the State with effect from April 2015. However, it did not see any effect in private medical colleges.
” The plight of house surgeons in most private medical colleges in the State are no different and they are all being paid Rs.6,000-9,000 as stipend even though they are doing same work as that of their counterparts in government medical colleges. It is as though the government order is not applicable to the private college managements at all. Students from affluent families may not be affected, but for students who secured admission on government quota, this stipend really matters,” a senior resident in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College pointed out.
Protesting the matter, the IMA will now hand over the charter of demands in a meeting scheduled to take place in the first week of May. The association will urge the Kerela government to also come out with a package for small hospitals in the private sector.
Further, the IMA stated that it will also highlight the need to raise the financial allocation of the health sector to 5 per cent as it observes that the present allocation is grossly inadequate.
The Hindu reports about the statement made by IMA during a press meet held at Aluva, according to which the association stated
- House surgeons should be paid a minimum of Rs. 30,000 a month and PG doctors should be paid Rs. 60,000 in private hospitals.
- Junior doctors in private hospitals should be paid a minimum of Rs. 50,000
- Specialists in private hospitals should be paid a minimum of Rs. 80,000.
“Junior doctors usually had to take up 24-36 hours continuous work and the hospital industry paid more to other employees than the doctors, said the statement. Since the salaries of other employees had been increased, the doctors’ salaries should also be increased,” the IMA stated.
Sulphi N, State Secretary, IMA said, “We brought out the demand of fixing minimum wages after we received a slew of complaints.”
“The fact is, around 70 per cent of the population relies on small hospitals in the private sector. But we fear the fixing of minimum wages might bring huge financial burden to them and in turn, lead to its closure. To avoid this, the state government could provide them aid,” Sulphi told the New Indian Express.
According to the IMA, once it happens, it will result in the improvement of the basic infrastructure of hospitals and rise in the quality of medical education on par with international standards.