Doctors check Covid tests at a civic school in Dharavi on Thursday
MUMBAI: The BMC has decided to increase the stipend of resident doctors by Rs 10,000 and sanctioned a six-day quarantine break after a nine-day shift. It has also increased the stipend amount for medical interns to Rs 50,000 for their contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic. Interns at civic-run medical colleges currently get Rs 6,000 as stipend.
Resident doctors are on the forefront in the fight against Covid-19 in civic hospitals. The BMC is likely to issue the order on Friday. Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said, “Resident doctors will get an additional Rs 10,000 and we are increasing the stipend of interns substantially.”
Civic officials said there are 472 medical interns helping the BMC handle Covid patients. They get up to Rs 6,000 stipend every month from the BMC. Now, the BMC has decided to bring this amount on par with the stipend drawn by interns at state-run colleges (around Rs 11,000) and above that, pay an additional sum to them during the pandemic. The total will rise to Rs 50,000, said a civic official.
Medical interns are students who have completed their four-and-a-half-year course and have to compulsorily do one-year internships at civic-run hospitals. Though they have provisional registration numbers, they do not have MBBS degrees. After the Covid-19 outbreak, these interns are put on a variety of duties. While some of them are posted at Seven Hills Hospital for data compilation- updating numbers of positive patients-others are at quarantine facilities to monitor close contacts of Covid patients. Some are also put on duty for swab collection and for community screening in slums, said an intern.
While resident doctors have welcomed the Rs 10,000 hike, they said it was due since August 2018. “Now we are not planning to demand any hike in our stipend due to the pandemic. We are happy the BMC has gone in for a considerable hike for interns,” said MARD representatives from KEM, Sion and Nair hospitals. Resident doctors have been demanding a hike of Rs 25,000 from the civic body.
Dwij Mehta, an intern, said they have been seeking a hike in their stipend for long.
Meanwhile, the BMC issued an OC to revive a 275-bed private hospital in Dream Mall at Bhandup to treat policemen and BMC staff.