Gujarat Health Dept increases stipend of intern doctors from Rs 13000 to Rs 18000 per month
Ahmedabad: Days after the protest by 2000 intern doctors in hospitals attached to government medical college demanding Covid-19 allowance and stipend hike, the Gujarat Government has decided to increase the monthly stipend by Rs 5,000 per month with effect from April this year to encourage intern doctors to perform COVID duty.
Confirmation to this effect has been given by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on December 19.
With the revised monthly incentive allowance, the intern doctors will get up to Rs 17,800-Rs 18,000 monthly stipends. Presently, the monthly stipend for interns across 14 such colleges ranges from Rs 12,800 to Rs 13,000. As per a recent media report in The Indian Express, these medical interns will continue getting this hike until February 2021.
This came in view of COVID duty performed by the intern doctors, who went on a strike from December 14 pointing out that Gujarat intern doctors get a lesser stipend than other states. The medicos demanded a monthly stipend of Rs. 20,000 and an honorarium for the duties performed by the doctors in the COVID wards.
The protesting doctors had also demanded that their COVID- 19 duties be accepted as a part of their mandatory rural tenure (in the case of government medical college students) in their medical bond. They submitted that they have been discharging their duties as "corona warriors" since April in COVID-19 wards.
The strike was soon called off after Patel had assured them of appropriate discussion over their issue and demands. Following a discussion between the health department officials and the interns, the Gujarat government has now agreed upon the stipend hike to encourage them.
The government, however, did not accept the demands completely calling them "inappropriate", except for a hike in their monthly stipend.
Speaking to The Indian Express, an intern of BJ Medical College said, "With respect to the remaining two demands, we were told that 'those are inappropriate'. They also refused to consider a stipend hike to Rs 20,000. The present hike given is, however, acceptable to us."
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told the daily, "Gujarat government medical colleges and Gujarat Medical Education & Research Society (GMERS)-run medical colleges, where more than 2,000 intern doctors have been on Covid-19 duty at designated hospitals since April, met health department officials on Saturday, and following discussions the state government has decided to increase the monthly stipend of interns by Rs 5,000 to encourage them."