MBBS Interns engaged across J&K not covered under Corona incentives

Over 300 such doctors being paid peanuts as stipend
Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, June 10: Despite being on the frontlines of the war against the COVID-19 pandemic, the MBBS Interns engaged by the Government for the COVID-19 duties across J&K are being paid peanuts in the name of monthly stipend while as they have been even left out from the COVID incentives that the rest of the doctors, Frontline Workers are getting across the Union Territory.
There are over 300 MBBS Interns who are currently on the frontlines, performing their duties in the COVID dedicated hospitals that are functional across J&K. From GMC, Srinagar, there are over 150 such doctors engaged for the job and somewhat a similar number from GMC, Jammu as well.
As of now, the Interns are being paid Rs 12000 per month, which they said, is way low in comparison to what their counterparts are getting in the rest of the States and the UTs of the country.
Notably, there are varied stipends that the Intern doctors across the country are getting as of now. While the Intern doctors in Delhi are getting around Rs 30000 per month, there are also such doctors in Karnataka who are getting around Rs 40000 per month as stipend-no way close to what the Intern MBBS doctors are being paid in J&K.
On top of it, the Interns from GMC Srinagar as well as from GMC Jammu told Excelsior that they have not been covered under the COVID-19 incentives that have been announced by the Government for the Health Care Workers and Frontline Workers.
“If the others are working in a challenging situation amid COVID, so are we, but we have been excluded from that. In this regard, we have written to the Principal, GMC Jammu who has forwarded it to the Health & Medical Education Department, but nothing has happened so far,” Dr Anmol Palak, from GMC, Jammu told Excelsior.
The Interns who even met with the Financial Commissioner, H&ME and apprised him of the issues, are performing their 24-hours shift duties for the last 2 months now and have been put on proper duty roasters; however, their demands have not been met as yet.
“We have also written to the Principal GMC, Srinagar in this regard and the demands stand forwarded to the Health & Medical Education Department which is yet to take a call on this,” Dr Tajamul Islam from GMC Srinagar told Excelsior.
As of now, the Interns from GMC, Jammu, Srinagar and those from SKIMS Srinagar, engaged for COVID care, are being paid the incentives, however, those who have studied MBBS outside and are working as Interns are not paid anything, which is said to be in accordance with the rules.
As the COVID second wave raged across J&K, the Government had earlier directed for the engagement of the final year MBBS students for COVID duties across hospitals at a monthly stipend of Rs 5000, however, keeping in view an improvement in the COVID situation and sufficient manpower across UT, they have not been engaged as yet.
The Interns told Excelsior that it is sheer injustice with them as their performance is equivalent to any regular doctor working in COVID dedicated hospitals. “We should be paid the stipend at par with what other Interns are getting in other UTs such as Delhi,” they said.