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Junior docs call strike for hike in stipend

At least 600 junior doctors (postgraduate students) of Patna Medical College and Hospital have decided to go on strike on Wednesday demanding hike in their Rs 30,000 stipend.

Rakesh Kumar, president, Junior Doctors Association, said other states are giving more stipend to its postgraduate doctors.

In Uttar Pradesh, postgraduate students get between Rs 48,000 and Rs 52,000 stipend while in Ranchi, the stipend meant for postgraduate students range from Rs 46,000 to Rs 48,000. In Delhi, its something between Rs 64,000 and Rs 65,000. Despite knowing this, the health department has not taken any decision in this regard. So we were forced to call a strike, said Kumar.

The hospital superintendent, Amar Kant Jha Amar, claimed that the administration had informed the department about the demand of junior doctors long ago and officials have assured him that very soon the stipend would be increased.

Dipak Kumar, principal secretary, health department, said if the junior doctors would not call off the strike, strong disciplinary action would be initiated against them.

Amar added: Kumar has asked for 15 days. The junior doctors are creating nuisance for no reasons. They should not take a decision which can cripple the health services.

About alternative arrangements the PMCH could take during the strike, Amar said: Right now, we are working on alternative arrangements. We are in talks with health department officials. We have been asked to depute senior doctors for night duty also. The civil surgeon has also promised to provide us with 50 doctors.

However, Rakesh said: So far, we have not received any kind of information that officials of the health department want to meet us and sort out the issue. Whatever information you have got is wrong.

Darbhanga also hit

In Darbhanga also, junior doctors of Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital went on an indefinite strike from Tuesday morning, demanding enhancement of stipend. Their strike hardly made an impact on the first day but if it continued little longer, it would cripple health services.

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