Resident doctors in Punjab demand fee waiver, stipend hike, write to CM
Amritsar: Resident doctors in Punjab have recently submitted a letter to the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the Secretary of Medical Education and Research demanding to waive off any pending fee of the present third year PG medical students and to hike the stipend of Junior and Senior Resident doctors to bring it at par with that of the national capital.
The residents under the umbrella of the Union of Resident Doctors of Punjab (URDP) and Resident Doctor's Association of Government Medical College and Rajindra Hospital Patiala (RDA GMC Patiala) raised a series of demands regarding the fee waiving, stipend increment of Junior Resident doctors, bond service, pay and examination of the third year Post Graduate (PG) candidates.
"Keeping in view the services rendered by the residents in COVID, any pending fees of the current residents should be waived off", the association said.
RDA GMC Patiala appreciated the efforts of the government and hospital administration in tackling the situation, however, it tapped on the stipend issue and mentioned that they are getting the lowest amount of monthly stipend as compared to medical colleges in other states.
" Postgraduate doctors are paying fees approximately Rs 2 lakh per annum which is highest in the country and they receive a meager amount of stipend. On the other hand, Postgraduate JR doctors in our neighbouring states like Delhi, Haryana, and PGI Chandigarh are having an annual fee of around Rs 20000 and getting a stipend between Rs 80000 to Rs 1 lakh per month. This is very demoralizing and demotivating for doctors working tirelessly and selflessly 24 X 7 in Punjab Government Medical Colleges and hospitals, " it submitted in its letter.
The general secretary of the doctors' body, Dr Prabsimran Singh told Medical Dialogues, " While the Postgraduate doctors are paying nearly Rs 2 lakh annually to government colleges, the junior residents get a monthly stipend of almost Rs 50,000 and senior residents get approximately Rs 55,000 to Rs 60,000. The amount is significantly lower than the other states. The junior doctors remained busy during the pandemic and hardly got the chance to work in their respective fields and they are still cooperating with the college and hospital administrations at every step. Under such circumstances, the authorities should take the necessary steps to initiate a fee waiver for the academic year and to ensure that the amount of stipend is at per with other states."
Subsequently, the residents demanded an increase in the stipend of Junior and Senior resident doctors to bring it at par with that of the national capital, expressing that doctors are operating ceaselessly, putting their lives at risk for the benefit of others amidst the pandemic. Hence, they deserve every bit of compassion and dignity to work in these harsh times as well.
In the letter submitted to the Secretary of Medical Education and Research, the association stated, " We are the ones managing the Corona wards and handling the major workload in Punjab Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals. We are cooperating with college and hospital administration at every step and in return we expect efforts of govt to waive off our hefty amount of fees and increase the stipend, thereby motivating us to keep working in these times of crisis."