In a relief for resident doctors, post-graduate students and house surgeons in Karnataka, the state government has decided to hike the monthly stipend to be paid to them after a campaign by them. The stipends were last revised in 2015 and the doctors complained that their stipends were lower than those in the same role in other states. Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar confirmed that the stipends for residents have been increased.
â€śThe stipend for interns was hiked to Rs 30,000. For PG students of 1-3 years, we have hiked it to Rs 40,000, Rs 45,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. We have also hiked the stipends for doctors doing their super-speciality,â€ť Dr Sudhakar told reporters.Super-speciality doctors with experience of one, two and three years, will be paid Rs 60,000, Rs 65,000 and Rs 70,000 now.
Until now, interns are being paid Rs 20,000; PG students Rs 30,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000 in their first, second and third years respectively; and super-speciality doctors were paid Rs 45,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 55,000 for one, two and three years of experience respectively.
Even though the last stipend revision was done in 2015, the fees were increased five-fold without warning in 2019. Many doctors, who are in their late-twenties, say they are being forced to scramble for financial aid due to this. Many resident doctors are also involved in the care of COVID-19 patients.
In particular, medical interns at JJM College complain that as many as 133 postgraduate doctors and 97 interns have not been paid stipends in the last 15 months since they joined the college in 2018. The doctors were serving at the Chigateri District Hospital and Women and Child Hospital in Davangere.
A similar issue was raised by 54 medical interns from Kasturba Medical College in Mangaluru serving in Wenlock District Hospital and Lady Goschen Hospital in February. But the issue was resolved after the college decided to pay the residents their pending stipends in one go. "We were paid Rs 2 lakh, the wages pending to be paid, after we protested in February," a resident doctor in Mangaluru told TNM.
Doctors at the JJM College however are yet to be paid due to a deadlock between the college management and the state governmentâ€™s directorate of medical education.