Nagpur: With all their appeals to hike their stipend falling on deaf ears, the medical interns under Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI) finally went on indefinite strike from Wednesday. The association took the extreme step as the state government could not live up to the assurance to increase the payout to the interns. Now the interns want the assurance in writing as the government has been giving such assurances since 2015.
A meeting between the ASMI representatives and directorate of medical education and research (DMER) joint director Dr Prakash Wakode was held but it resulted in oral assurance only.
“Dr Wakode sought some more time to resolve the issue. Another meeting was held with medical education minister secretary Girish Mahajan. It is being said that the financial burden in increasing the stipend is going to be over Rs 27 crore which the government is not prepared for as of now,” Dr Shubham Borekar, joint secretary of ASMI from the GMCH, said.
The GMCH interns submitted a letter to college dean Dr A Niswade on Wednesday and held a demonstration in front of his office. The letter, besides demanding higher stipend (Rs 11,000), demands fixing of the working hours for interns. It also requests that during the strike period they should not be marked absent.
DMER chief Dr Pravin Shingare said, “If they do not join duties by Friday morning, action will be taken against them. We have agreed to the demands in principle but the cabinet has to approve the financial issues related with it,” he said.
But a DMER official said the stipend may not be increased immediately.