9K med students, resident docs have not got stipend
On the frontline, they want amount hiked; DMER says will resolve issueUpdated: May 12, 2020 23:49 IST
Despite being Mumbai’s frontliners in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, at least 9,000 medical students and post-graduate resident doctors across the city haven’t received their stipend for the past three months. The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) said the issue will be resolved in two-three days.
Resident medical officers (RMO) account for almost 80% of the staff strength in Covid treatment facilities. Around 5,500 postgraduate resident doctors, along with senior medical officers, haven’t received their stipend in the past one-and-a-half months. On an average, they get around ₹54,000 for their service, but the amount differs between BMC and government medical colleges. They received their last stipend on March 15. So far 25 RMOs have contracted the infection on duty at different civic-run hospitals, while hundreds have been quarantined.
After getting their MBBS degree, medical students are given internships in different hospitals. Currently, there are 3,300 such MBBS graduates in Mumbai. These doctors at government medical colleges get ₹11,000, while students studying in medical institutes under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) get ₹6,000 for their service. “We are directly involved in the treatment of Covid patients. Senior doctors hardly stay in isolation rooms. They just come and check the reports. We work around-the-clock for the patients,” said a doctor from King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital.
The students are now demanding ₹30,000 as monthly stipend. “We have been working for eight -12 hours a day. Earlier, we were responsible for screening passengers at the airport. Now, we are assigned duties in Covid care centres under category 1 and 2. We also conduct contact tracing of patients’ kin and identify symptomatic patients,” said a student intern posted in SevenHills Hospital.
“We have spoken to the students. We are working on it and the issue will be resolved within 2-3 days,” said Dr TP Lahane, director of DMER.
Dr Abhijit More, co-convenor, Jan Aarogya Abhiyan, said, “At a time of pandemic, these students should be the first priority of the government. All other politicians are getting their salaries in time then why should these doctors, who are at the greatest risk of getting exposed to the virus, suffer?”