Three more medical interns on hunger strike for a hike in their stipends were admitted in wards at KEM Hospital on Wednesday, the third day of the strike.
A total of ten interns have been admitted to hospital but there is no sign of any agreement between the interns and government.
“The Directorate of Medical Education and Research asked us to resume work without fulfilling our demands. But we are firm. We will intensify our strike on Thursday,” said Vijay Bonde, general secretary, Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI).
More than 2,000 medical interns from 18 medical colleges across the state are supporting the 120 medical interns who are on an indefinite hunger strike since May 2 at Kamgar Maidan, Parel. Medical interns who currently earn a monthly stipend of Rs2,550 want the amount to be raised to Rs13,000. There are around 2,060 medical interns in the state.
“We requested the interns to withdraw their strike. We are ready to give them substantial increase in their stipend,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director, DMER.
“We were given an assurance by the chief minister that our demand will be discussed and then the decision will be taken. But, there has been no communication so far,” said Dhaval Shah, co-coordinator, ASMI.
Government officials, however, said that the strike is unjustified.
“Medical internship is part of their study and they are not yet doctors. Our stand is that whatever could be the demand; doctors striking cannot be justified. They were also assured that their stipend would be increased to Rs 6,000. Despite this, they went on strike,” said Milind Mhaiskar, secretary, medical education.