Interns suspend work at Amritsar hospital for higher stipend
Amritsar Students and interns at Government Medical College (GMC), Amritsar, on Monday suspended classes and work at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH) and staged a protest against the state government to demand a hike in monthly stipend. Over 150 students and interns, under the banner of the Medical Student Association, gathered outside the GNDH hospital at 11am and raised slogans against the ruling government. In the absence of interns and students, the Out Patient Department (OPD) at the GNDH faced shortage of doctors, and patients were harassed.
Association president Dr Vaibhav Chawla said, “The interns of Punjab government medical colleges earn a monthly income of ₹9,000 during their year-long paid rotary internship under their MBBS course. For the past ten years, the state government has not increased the monthly stipend, which is one of the lowest among all government institutions in the country. There has been no change of stipend over the past decade, even as the government has increased fee for students twice.”
He added that the stipend was higher in the neighbouring states and the state government had made several false promises to them. “In August, state medical education and research minister OP Soni promised us that our stipend will be increased in two months. This has not materialised. If our demands are not met, we will intensify our protest.”