Medical Interns Demand Increase in Stipend

Medical Interns Demand Increase in Stipend

If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is the fact that medical practitioners are the most crucial part of any society. With thousands of families being affected every day, doctors have been working overtime to save as many lives as they can. These doctors have gone above and beyond their call of duty to make sure everyone gets their treatment on time. As a result, they are bringing a smile to thousands of suffering individuals every day.

Our nation, unfortunately, still has a long way to go. We clap and bang utensils for our doctors instead of holding the government accountable and asking for better wages or work schedules.

What is India’s minimum wage?

Minimum wage means the lowest amount that a worker can be paid per hour. According to the minimum wage Act of 1948, state governments decide the minimum wages.

For medical interns, every state has different fixed stipends.

Karnataka and Assam pay their interns Rs. 30,000. The amount increased from Rs. 20,000 after protests. Central medical universities pay 23,500, while AIIMS Delhi pays 28,500. At the same time, certain states such as Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh pay a minimum stipend of Rs. 7,500. The lowest in all of India.

A few days ago, over 300 interns from three different government medical colleges began a protest against the Tirath Singh Rawat lead government. They were asking for a raise in their stipend.

Since the past year, doctors and medical interns have been working 12-18 hour schedules without any break or holidays. They have to wear PPE kits in the scorching heat and denied food or water while working. Medical interns are enraged by the pay disparity in the country.

While their peers make three times more than what they do, they’re all working under stressful conditions and have bills to pay.

The hashtag #onenationonestipend has been trending over Twitter for the past weeks, demanding all interns across India to be paid equal and fair wages.

Apart from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh is also paying their interns 7,500 per month. The minimum wage for an unskilled adult in Uttarakhand is 320 rupees per day. Thus, medical interns are being paid even lesser than what is advisable for workers.

Government notices

The government on 24th June sent out notices to 25 medical interns for violating their Covid protocol, speaking with media and disrupting hospital work hours to ask for wage raises.

CM Tirath Singh Rawat issued a statement saying that a stipend increase has been sent to the government and is under consideration. In Covid times protesting is against the protocol and bringing a bad name to the universities.

Interns from government medical colleges have a compulsory internship in government hospitals for one year. However, with ongoing protests, it is hoped that the state will offer fair stipends in all states.