The sixth pay commission has hiked doctors’ salaries but the monthly internship allowance for medical students in Uttar Pradesh remains Rs 1,950, the lowest in the country.
Even class four employees working in municipal corporations get over Rs 8,000, which comes to over Rs 260 per day.
But medical students get Rs 65 per day, which is the minimum wages fixed for labourers of the unorganized sector working at places such as a brick kiln.
Internship is a mandatory part of the medical course and each candidate needs to work in different departments at a hospital attached to the institute. Each medical student, whether pursuing MBBS, Homoeopathy or Ayurveda, has to go through internship.
The candidates are assigned all kinds of work, from preparing the patient’s chart, dressing wounds, giving medicine to preparing the patient for operation. They have to work during the day and at night, but payment remains the same, Rs 65 per day.
“Giving Rs 1,950 is a meager amount given the services rendered by the medicos. This needs to be made respectful,” said Dr Vinod Jain, secretary of the Lucknow College of Surgeons (LCS).
The counterparts of Uttar Pradesh medicos in other states get no less than Rs 4,500 (Bhopal) while the maximum internship stipend goes up to Rs 10,000 (at National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata).
“We have written to the State for increasing the internship allowance on several occasions in the past but nothing was done,” said Dr Anuruddh Verma, member of the Central Council for Homoeopathy (CCH).
Medicos work over ten hours a day during routine internship postings and often work round-the-clock. Their responsibilities include reporting to the senior doctor and coordinating with para-medical staff and even explaining to patients’ attendants the status of health of the patient.