1,200 doctors forced to work for 'free' in state
Around 1, 200 doctors across the state have not received stipend for a month now and have also been asked to sign on a stamp paper stating that they do not want it in lieu of the completion certificate that is necessary to get recognised by the Medical Council of India.
Dr Mundada, MARD president
The entire mess was caused due to the delay in post-graduate admission to the medical colleges in 2013 owing to a Supreme Court battle between private colleges and the Medical Council of India. The admission was already delayed by several months in 2013.
After completing their MBBS course, these doctors have to work in a government hospital after their Masters (this can be of 36 months or 24) and that is when the state government pays them a stipend of Rs 49,000 to Rs 52,000 as per a slab.
‘Work for free’
“Postgraduation after MBBS start from May 1, and ends ideally in April. In 2013, the course began in September and it is supposed to end this September. We have received the stipend for April, but not yet for May. When we approached the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), they asked us to work voluntarily and sign on a stamp paper, stating that we do not want the stipend,” said Mumbai-based doctor Dr Sagar Mundada, who is also the president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD).
Dr Ajay Chandanwale, dean of BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, admitted that there was an issue with the stipends, but that they were working on an alternative. “Nobody has been forced to sign on any bond paper.”
The other side
Dr Pravin Shingare, director of DMER, denied the allegations levelled by MARD, adding, “We are trying to sort out the issue and the stipend would be given as soon as the funds come in.”
Dr Chandrahas Kamble, Nanded-based doctor pursuing MD
I get around Rs 49,000 as stipend and cannot ask my family to bear my expenses because they are dependant on me. It is difficult to work without stipend for three months and we will not get any amount till September.
Dr Dnyaneshwar Harnol, Pune-based doctor
Usually, we get the honourarium by first week of every month. We did not receive it for May and there is no sign of it yet. It is manageable for a month, but not for three consecutive months. Moreover, DMER is forcing us to sign on the affidavits.