THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Adopting a unique protest mode, the PG students under the banner of Kerala Medical Post Graduates Association (KMPGA) at all the five medical colleges in the state will go for ‘mass blood donation’ on Tuesday against the government’s refusal to hike their stipend.
The PG Medicos had agitated against poor remuneration by taking up 24 hours duty last week.
The medicos have resorted to such an agitation as other modes of protest could only render hardships to the patients. “We had last week protested by working 24 hours. Now we are going for mass blood donation. We do not want the patients to suffer but at the same time want the government to look into the issue, which is genuine,” KMPGA president Dr Antony Stanley said.
“All the PG students would be donating blood on Tuesday as part of the agitation. We have got support from various other associations. We hope that the government would look into our issue at the earliest,” he said.
Stating that the government had not taken any steps in hiking the stipend despite making several promises, he said that it was only in Kerala that the PG medicos were being paid such low wages. In the last one month, several states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka have hiked the remuneration 40 to 60 per cent. He also said that it was the PG students who were made to shoulder a large chunk of the workload in the Medical Colleges though they were poorly paid. “The resident doctors work for 100-120 hrs per week. Residents in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Anesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, ENT, Ophthalmology and Pulmonology Medicine are working for more than twice the upper limit of man-hours fixed by the Supreme Court,” he said.
In Kerala, the stipend paid to PG students is Rs 32,000 per month. Both Stanley and association secretary Dr Bipin P said the PGs were receiving such low remuneration when the net national average of stipend across the states was Rs 47,500. They stated that PGs working in the state are the fourth least paid.
Noting that the government had increased the stipend of the students undergoing House surgency by 33 per cent, the association demanded a similar revision of their remuneration.
A Novel Protest
The PG Medicos had agitated against poor remuneration by taking up 24 hours duty last week.The medicos have resorted to such an agitation as other modes of protest could only render hardships to the patients.