Uttarakhand medical interns stipend lowest in India; demand comes up for raise amid Covid duty

Express News Service
DEHRADUN: Dr Ashtha Gupta, returning after 12-hours duty in Covid wards of Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Institute of Medical Science & Research has no energy left to call her relatives back home. 

“After 12-hours of duty we are in no condition to do anything other than sleep, rest and start over next day following the same routine for last six months,” says Dr Gupta.

The medical interns get paid only Rs 7,500 per month which means only Rs 250 per day as stipend which is lowest in India. This has also not been paid since last one-and-a-half month.

This is the story of 330 interns are working in three government medical colleges of the state – 194 in Doon Medical College, 97 in Srinagar and 99 in Dr Susheela Tiwari Government Medical College and Hospital, Haldwani. 

MBBS Interns of U’khand: The medical interns get paid only Rs 7500 per month which means just Rs 250 per day as stipend which is lowest in India. This has also not been paid since last one-and-a-half month! @NewIndianXpress @TheMornStandard pic.twitter.com/cmyuSqTW7C
— Vineet Upadhyay (@VineetTNIE) June 18, 2021

“We do not have any issue working as that is our job. But then Rs 7,500 is too less, infact the amount is lowest in the entire country. We have been requesting and earlier our senior did to increase the stipend according to central government institutions,” added Dr Gupta. 

In Uttar Pradesh, the medical interns get Rs 12,500 per month, in Tamil Nadu and Telangana it is Rs 20,000, Haryana and Himachal pay Rs 17,000 while medical interns in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi get Rs 28,000 per month as stipend.

Many have raised objections of paltry sum calling the stipend of Rs 250 per day too less and meagre. Last time it was revised was in year 2011 when the stipend was increased from Rs 2,500 to Rs 7,500. 

A candle march was also organized by the interns in all three locations on Friday evening as a sign of protest. 

“This is a symbolic reminder to the government to consider our request. We are not going to stop work or treating patients as that is our duty. But the government must understand that we are human beings and our request is justifiable, said Dr Akshat Kumar Thapa, an intern from Doon Medical College speaking on behalf of Uttarakhand Intern Doctors Group. 

The medical students who complete their MBBS course have to do 12 months mandatory internship according to the norms of Medical Council of India. 

Officials of the state government told that proposal to increase the stipend has been forwarded to higher authorities for approval. 

Chief Medical Superintendent of Doon Medical College Dr Krishna Pant said, “The issue has been raised by the interns and they have been working really hard in these pandemic times. All I can say is I hope they get some incentive for their hard work.”