Karnataka medical colleges told to pay stipend to interns
Mangaluru: In a major relief to PG medical students and house surgeons at Wenlock Hospital and Chigateri Hospital, the State government has directed the principals of Kasturba Medical College (KMC), and JJM Medical College, to pay the pending stipend of the medicos which have not been paid to them for 11 months now.
As per the agreement reached between the authorities at Kasturba Medical College, JJM medical college and the government, these house-surgeons and MBBS interns, who have studied MBBS under the government quota; have been offering services at the two hospitals, Lady Goschen Hospital and other designated primary health centres in Dakshina Kannada district.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) has mandated that the medical college needs to have its own hospital and it has to pay stipend for students serving in the hospital.
The basic monthly remuneration of a house surgeon is Rs 20,000, while the PG students should get Rs 30,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000 for the first, second and third year of their service respectively.
Recently on February 12th, demanding their hard-earned and a rightful stipend; as many as 54 house surgeons of Wenlock Hospital and Lady Goschen Hospital staged a protest raising slogans like, "We are not scapegoats, we wear white coats". They alleged that their stipend has not been disbursed despite a written order from Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on December 24 last year. After due deliberation and assured action; the surgeons called off their protest around 1 pm and said they will resort to the protest again if the stalemate continued, adds The Hindu.
PG students, house surgeons, from both the medical colleges, who are serving in the two government hospitals, face the same stipend issues.
Pointing out as to why the medicos resorted to the protest, a House surgeon said that Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan, who held the portfolio of medical education, has so far not acted on his assurance of directing the Kasturba Medical College to pay the stipend. Narayan, who was in the city last week, had assured that the stipend issue will be resolved at the earliest but no action was taken.
It was also mentioned that a letter of the Health and Family Welfare Department to the Wenlock Hospital, to make the payment through the hospital's Arogya Raksha Samiti funds, has also not been acted upon, reports TOI.
Hindu reports that a letter, dated February 5, was released to 54 house surgeons at the Government Wenlock Hospital a day after they went on a protest demanding payment of stipend. In the letter, Additional Chief Secretary, Medical Education said the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India had objected to paying a stipend to private college students serving at the government hospitals.
Now taking cognizance of the matter, the state government has issued directions to two medical colleges in Karnataka to pay stipend to medical interns, since the private colleges did not have their own hospitals, reports TOI.
The order stated that the colleges have to pay the stipend to interns since the auditor general had raised objections to the state paying the same.
In 2018 as well, the similar issue was reported by Medical Dialogues wherein it was alleged that though the government has already sanctioned Rs 2.36 crore for paying the medicos yet, the Department of Medical Education (DME) has not released it citing objection by the Principal Accountant General.