Junior doctors of state medical colleges in Bihar to go on strike from today
The medicos are demanding a 50% to 60% increase in monthly stipend from Rs 50,000, 55,000 and 60,000 in the first, second and third year to Rs 80,000, Rs 85,000 and Rs 90,000 of the PG course.Updated: Sep 23, 2019 12:52 IST
Junior doctors across all nine government-run medical colleges of Bihar will go on an indefinite strike from Monday in support of their demands, which among others include increase in stipend of postgraduate (PG) and undergraduate (UG) students.
The junior doctors have, however, exempted emergency services from the purview of their strike.
The medicos are demanding a 50% to 60% increase in monthly stipend from Rs 50,000, 55,000 and 60,000 in the first, second and third year to Rs 80,000, Rs 85,000 and Rs 90,000 of the PG course. They are also demanding that the UG stipend be increased from Rs 15,000 monthly to Rs 24,000. The medicos cited the example of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, an autonomous tertiary care institute here, in demanding parity in stipend of medical students.
The medicos are also demanding that the three-year rural bond, which those pursuing PG programme in government medical colleges of Bihar have to sign, be treated a tenure post as senior resident (SR) and they be posted in any medical college of Bihar.
Explaining this, coordinator of the Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA), Bihar, Dr Ravi Ranjan said, “We are not averse to rural posting in Bihar if the government is able to provide the required medical infrastructure. What is the point of posting surgeons in primary health centres (PHC) or common health centres (CHCs) where there are no operation theatres or sterilisation room. Similarly, what is the point of posting a PG in medicine to a rural facility where there is no X-ray or ultrasound facility? Are these doctors only supposed to treat cases of common cold and cough?” he asked this reporter.
“Jharkhand and many other states are issuing SR certificates to such doctors who serve three years after completing their PG course from government medical colleges. Bihar can do the same,” he added.
The medicos are also demanding that the upper age limit for SR post be increased from 37 years to 45 years, which the regulator — the Medical Council of India — has already agreed to and many states like Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are following it.
The medicos have demanded that those PG pass-outs who get selected for super-specialty courses like DM, MCh, DNB or fellowship programmes, be allowed to go and pursue higher education, and thereafter complete their three-year rural bond after completing their super-specialisation.
Yet another demand of the junior doctors is that those completing their MBBS and PG courses in repeated attempts be allowed to apply for SR post. As of now, doctors who flunk three or more times in MBBS or PG programme are not eligible for SR post in government of Bihar. However, the IGIMS and the AIIMS allows even such candidates.
The doctors are also demanding that those who complete one year of the three-year SR programme be eligible to apply for the post of assistant professor, said Dr Shankar Bharti of the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH).
They are also demanding that the post of medical officers be filled through an entrance exam instead of the prevailing practice of selecting them on merit on the basis of their academic record. They are also demanding an increase in the upper age limit for the post of medical officers from 37 years to 45 years. The junior doctors are also demanding filling up all faculty position in medical colleges .
Dr Ravi Ranjan cited the example of the Nalanda Medical College Hospital, where the MCI had recently threatened to curtail existing four seats of PG due to absence of professor of surgery.
The junior doctors met here on Saturday and decided to proceed on an indefinite strike from Monday. Among the medical institutions to be affected due to the strike are the Patna Medical College Hospital, Nalanda Medical College Hospital, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (all in Patna), Darbhanga Medical College Hospital (in Darbhanga), Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital (Bhagalpur), Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College (Gaya), Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (Muzaffarpur), Vardhaman Institute of Medical Sciences (Pawapuri in Nalanda), and the Government Medical College (Bettiah).
Meanwhile, Bihar’s principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar has called the junior doctors for talks at 10am on Monday.
“The government is considering their demands. Going on strike is no solution. It only adds to the suffering of poor patients and the doctors lose their moral authority. I have called them for discussions tomorrow and will try to convince them not to resort on strike,” said Kumar.