Medical interns called off their hunger strike after a week on Sunday after the government assured them that their stipend will be increased.
Members of the Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI) said that Vijaykumar Gavit, state medical education minister, in a telephonic conversation promised interns that the
ministry would put up their demands in the state cabinet.
“It is the first time since the hunger strike that we got to speak to the minister. He has given us his word and called us for a meeting to discuss the stipend with him,” said Vijay Bonde, general secretary of ASMI.
Although the representatives of ASMI spoke with Gavit in the morning, the strike was called off at 4pm on Sunday after Dr NN Ambhore, joint director of Directorate of Medical Education and Resarch (DMER), and Niranjan Davkhare, president of National Student Congress announced the government’s response at Kamgar Maidan at Parel where all the interns have gathered.
“We haven’t decided the exact figure of the stipend. Interns have called off the strike because they believe that the government will do justice,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director of DMER.
Around 117 interns in the city went on an indefinite hunger strike and more than 2,000 medical interns from 18 medical colleges in the state supported it since May 2.
The interns demanded that their stipend of Rs2,550 a month be hiked to Rs13,000.
They said medical interns in other states get stipends as high as Rs 14,000.
During the strike, 44 interns were admitted in the general ward of KEM Hospital and five to the Intensive Care Unit.
Some students went against medical advice and left the hospital to be part of the strike.
On Saturday, no student was admitted to the hospital.