Medical interns in Maharashtra are up against the state government, protesting against the policy and demanding increase in the stipend. Around 100 medical interns had gathered near Mantralaya raising their voice against the government.
The protest was organised under the banner of Association of State Medical Interns Maharashtra (ASMI).
The protesting interns had gone to meet Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan in Mantralaya, but as the minister was not available, a special executive officer met the aggrieved interns.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Aniket Mawal, general secretary of the ASMI, Association of State Medical Interns Maharashtra said, “We have been assured that within a months’ time stipend will be increase to 11,000 rupees. We are going to keep track about the progress of the file and if it is not satisfactory we will organise state wide agitation.”
He further added, “If the government doesn’t fulfil the promise this time around, we will take to the streets. We will hold a march from Azad maidan to Mantralaya.”
Earlier this month, in the letter written to Maharashtra’s Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan earlier this month, the interns have alleged disparity in terms of the pay structure. The letter states, as per office memorandum of government the stipend of the medical interns has been increased to Rs 17,900 per month, veterinary interns are getting increment up to Rs 15,000, but Maharashtra medical interns get Rs 6,000 which is comparatively less.
Medical interns say that, they have been promised increment of Rs 11,000 in 2016, but nothing has changed since then.
Meanwhile the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has also extended their moral support to the medical interns.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Aniket Mawal, General Secretary of the interns association said, “We have been raising this issue since the last 3 years. Government has no will to take cognizance of it. After completing MBBS we get only RS 6,000; it’s an insult.”
He further added, “Most of the students in government colleges come from a poor background. It is impossible for them to manage their basic expenses. We call Maharashtra a progressive state but it lags behind regarding this issue. In Kerala, stipend is Rs 23,000 and in Delhi it is Rs 19,000.”
Dr Swapnil Meshram, General Secretary of the MARD said, “Interns work for almost 12 hours a day. Sometimes it goes beyond 12 hours and for that they get paid only Rs 6,000 per month. Our demand is to make it at least 10-15 thousand rupees, so that the interns will be able to manage their basic expenses. MARD is externally supporting their agitation.”