“By keeping just demand of young doctors in abeyance, the administration is doing disservice to the society, because health system can be strengthened only when its manpower and professionals are strengthened, otherwise installing buildings and machines are of little use”
Notwithstanding the amount of hard work and dedication young doctors are putting up to keep the Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals, and Associated Hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir functional, they have been reportedly denied ‘much deserved’ hike in stipend.
Talking to The Typewriter, a senior doctor wishing not to be named shared that it is irrefutable fact that young doctors (interns) are the back bone of the Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, but it is paradoxically ‘unfortunate’ to see how they are treated.
“I do not shy away in accepting that these young doctors (interns) have saved thousands of lives during last two waves of deadly Covid-19. They risked their lives in the service of public, but the administration has overlooked their efforts very soon,” said senior doctor, adding that denying hike in stipend to such a lot, especially in pandemic like situation is ‘unjustified’.
He maintained that other than pandemic situation, the work and dedication of young doctors in running the hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir have always been admired by the successive governments and their bureaucrats.
“It has been admitted by the successive governments that interns of any Government Medical Colleges are the backbone of the hospital because they work tirelessly in the wards and also assist senior doctors,” said senior doctor, adding that their issue of enhancement in stipend has been unfortunately ignored by the officials due to reasons best known to them.
Sharing their grievances with The Typewriter, a couple of young doctors (interns) maintained that they are sick of working for peanuts.
“We are fed up with the indifferent attitude of the concerned officials, including the incumbent management of the respective Medical Colleges. They do not understand our problems. We have been working tirelessly in wards, before, during and after covid-19 pandemic, without caring about our vulnerabilities,” said young interns, adding that disappointed with the uncaring response of the concerned authorities, they were forced to approach Lieutenant Governor.
Young interns stated that they have submitted a representation in the office of Lieutenant Governor regarding their demand of hike in stipend, but as of now nothing substantial has been done.
Discussing the excerpts of representation submitted in the office of Lieutenant Governor, young interns shared, the Indian Medical Association- Junior Doctor Network (IMA-JDN) Jammu and Kashmir Chapter had highlighted that they are receiving only Rs. 12,000 per month in the Government Colleges and Rs. 6000 per month in Private colleges like ASCOMS but in other Union Territories or States the interns are getting Rs. 23,500 or Rs 18,000 per month.
They also highlighted that the Interns worked in the tertiary care centers in J&K and other fully dedicated COVID hospitals day and night at par with the interns of other UT and States, despite disparity in stipend. “We gave our cent percent in hard time but our contribution in this pandemic was ignored deliberately,” the representation reads.
Meanwhile, State Convener-Dr. Rakesh Koul shared that they stood shoulder to shoulder with the senior doctors in the effort to control the deadly disease (Corona virus).
“We did not let down our moral after 50-60 interns had tested positive Covid 19 while doing their duties in various wards of the Medical Colleges and continuously exposed ourselves,” Koul stated, adding that other states have recognized efforts of interns and have given definite hike in their stipend, but Interns of the J&K have been running pillar to post to get their basic rights.
He said that they are still dependent on their parents for daily expenses. “The stipend is paid to us is not at all adequate to meet our academic, and research expenses. The government must consider our hard work and long working hours and hike our stipend,” he said.
Another intern, wishing anonymity said that interns play an important role in Medical Colleges and work for 70- 80 hours a week, but in J&K, they are getting only Rs 12000 stipend as compared to others parts of the country.
“Many delegations of the Interns had called successive Principals, who had assured that the matter would be taken with higher officials,” aggrieved Interns said, adding that such exercises did not yield any fruits as of now.
Interns further said that by keeping just demand of young doctors in abeyance, the administration is doing disservice to the society, because health system can be strengthened only when its manpower and professionals are strengthened, otherwise installing buildings and machines would be of little use.