Gujarat: Intern Doctors demanding Stipend Hike, Covid-19 allowance end strike after Govt assurance
Ahmedabad: The intern doctors in government hospitals in Gujarat have called off their protests after having discussions with the state government on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel confirmed.
Around 2000 intern doctors from at least a dozen government hospitals in Gujarat started a state-wide protest, demanding Covid-19 allowance and stipend hike three days ago.
The protest was soon joined in by more than 250 intern doctors of state-run SSG Hospital and GMERS Medical College and Hospital, Gotri, who were seen with placards in their hands at various medical colleges.
As a part of the protest, the interns denied all kinds of Covid-19, emergency, and non-emergency duties till their demands are met.
As per various media accounts, the intern doctors demanded a raise in their monthly stipend from Rs 12,800 to Rs 20,000. They further demanded Rs 1000 allowance on a daily basis for fulfilling their responsibilities in the Covid-19 duties.
The protesting interns also demanded arrears from last April and relaxation in bond conditions responsible for governing their services, reports Times of India.
As per a recent media report by The Hindu, the intern doctors had earlier submitted representations to their respective deans claiming a raise in their stipend. In a letter submitted to the dean, they stated that they have been discharging their duties as "corona warriors" since April in COVID-19 wards in various government hospitals.
The interns pointed out that Gujarat intern doctors get a lesser stipend than other states. They have made their demands repetitively to the health authorities to be allegedly never heard.
Meanwhile, Deputy CM and Health Minister Nitin Patel has termed the protest as illegal. Commenting on the ongoing protest, Minister Patel told The Hindu, "I have asked all deans of all medical colleges and medical superintendents at government hospitals to treat those intern doctors who have gone on strike as absent from work."
Calling the protest unacceptable, he further added that it is mandatory for every medical student to complete the nine-month internship post MBBS to become a certified doctor. Only after successful completion of the internship, a student gets the certificate of medical practice.
However, as per a recent IANS report, the strike has been called off. The Deputy CM, who also holds the health portfolio, said, "I had said earlier that first the interns should end their strike and thereafter we will decide. A delegation of interns from different medical colleges in the state led by Vadodara city BJP president Vijay Shah met me and we had a detailed discussion for about one-and-a-half hours. They understood my suggestions and have decided to end their strike unconditionally."
"Shortly, we will have discussions with the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, the Health Commissioner, and other medical services officials and thereafter we will call the representatives of the interns and take an appropriate decision on their issues and demands," added Patel.
"Today, we had discussions at length with Deputy CM Nitin Patel and we have been given the assurance that all our issues will be solved within 2-3 days, provided we first end our strike. Accordingly, we are announcing the end of our strike," said a representative of the striking interns.