Tamil Nadu: With Maharashtra doctors having made peace with the state authorities on the stipend issue with a promised hike, Tamil Nadu has jumped into the stipend hike fray. Postgraduate students along with undergraduate residents and super specialty students have together given a call for a strike if the government does not increase their stipends.
The protest seems to be gathering momentum with Members of the Interns and Post-Graduate Association announcing that their human chain demonstration, has already earned them the support of in-service candidates, state government doctors, and other doctor association
“We have made several representations to the government stating that we are the lowest paid in the country. Postgraduate students get between Rs 27,100 and Rs 29,100 depending on the year they study compared to up to Rs 90,559 the central government students get. The tuition fee at several central government colleges is one-tenth that of the fees in state colleges. While Kerala pays up to Rs 45,000, other states pay between Rs 48,000 and Rs 60,000,” Dr. S Anbarasan, student, Madras Medical College, and leader of the agitation informed Times of India.
He revealed that in-service candidates were treated on equal footing with students within the state and the same remuneration and work hours scheduled to them. Meanwhile, in-service candidates were treated on an equal footing with students and allocated the same salary and hours of work; however, their salaries were higher than the stipend amounts, he added.
Students pursuing postgraduate, super specialty courses in general hospitals earn a measly Rs 32,800 as compared to the Rs 1 lakh drawn by others working in central government institutions. The salary given to students for the same work in other states ranges between Rs 49,000 and Rs 94513.
A. Edwin Joe, Director, Medical Education said a study by his department revealed that house surgeons, PG students, and super specialty students were receiving the lowest in the state of Tamil Nadu.
“We have requested for an increase in stipend to all medical students. For non-service PGs, we have sought a hike up Rs 40,000. There will be a substantial hike in all salaries, almost on a par with neighboring Karnataka,” he told TOI.