Mangaluru: Demanding their hard-earned salaries which have not been paid to them for months now; despite the amount already being sanctioned by the state government, the House-Surgeons and Post-Graduate medicos attached to the Mangaluru- based Government Wenlock Hospital had recently staged a protest.
The protesters threatened to stage an indefinite protest from November 1, if the issue was sorted out by the end of this month.
Medical dialogues had recently reported about the tough time that the House-Surgeons and Post-Graduate medicos at the hospital were facing. There were allegations that though the government has already sanctioned Rs 2.36 crore for paying the medicos yet, the Department of Medical Education (DME) has not released it citing objection by the Principal Accountant General.
Of those who haven’t been paid include 51 MBBS passouts of Kasturba Medical College, who were admitted under the Government quota, and are now pursuing their one-year MBBS internship. 38 doctors pursuing their PG at KMC and serving as resident doctors at the Wenlock Hospital have also not received their monthly stipends.
“A total of 51 medical interns and 38 postgraduate doctors, who are qualified through K-CET and have been allotted government seats at Kasturba Medical College (KMC) through state counselling conducted by Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), have been serving at the three government-run hospitals in the city. None of the medical interns and postgraduates has been paid stipend by the government since March,” Ujwal U Suvarna, representing Interns and PG Student Association told TOI.
Last year too, the objection on paying salaries to the PG medicos and house surgeons was raised by the Principal Accountant-General. It has been reported that at that time, the students were not paid their salaries also from March to September last year.
However, the matter was resolved following the representation by students, and the government released the amount later taking cognition of the Karnataka High Court’s ruling on the stipend grant cited by the aggrieved medicos.
With the same objection on the stipend this year; a delegation of students met Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy as well as the Health and Family Welfare Minister Shivananda Patil with their representatives.
After seeing that no authority is in the mood to pay heed to their legitimate demands, the surgeons and the PG medicos staged a protest and threatened of an indefinite strike if the issued are not resolved till the said date.
“We form the backbone of the healthcare system at our government hospitals and have endlessly and tirelessly served the people of Karnataka. The casualty, emergency wards, ICU, labour theatre, the out-patient department and operating rooms will stand crippled without our unrelenting service. But despite utmost sincerity and efficiency, we have perennially faced discrimination and apathy with regard to monthly remuneration for our work,” Ujwal stressed.
The department of medical education has deprived them of their rightful stipend for the last eight months despite being sanctioned, he told TOI. “In spite of our busy work schedule, we have painstakingly approached the officials concerned on multiple occasions only to be humiliated and played back and forth with false assurances. We even made an appeal to our chief minister and minister for medical education, who promised us a speedy resolution, but we are yet to see any concrete outcome,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wenlock’s Medical Superintendent Dr HR Rajeshwari Devi told the Hindu that stipend is not being paid following objections raised by the CAG. He had objected to payment of stipend to students from KMC, Mangaluru, and JJM Medical College, Davangere, in 2016-17.
“The department, however, has responded saying that the students were entitled to stipend as per the Government Order and that they have been serving government hospitals. The Deputy Commissioner too has urged the government to pay them stipend,” she informed the daily.