Published: 13th August 2018
This Kanyakumari medical college fines their interns for wearing stethoscopes!
The 73 students who have been protesting are now unable to punch in their attendance because the administration has disabled their accounts
The minute you think of the word "Stethoscope" you think of it hanging around the neck of a doctor. But at the Sree Mookambigai Institute of Medical Sciences, if intern doctors are seen with the stethoscope around their neck, they are fined their entire month's stipend - Rs 13,000. This absurd rule is just one of the several other rules that the interns have been protesting against for the last few days.
The students who pass out of the institute are expected to do a one-year Compulsory Residential Rotating Internship. The interns this year say that they are being unnecessarily taunted by the senior doctors and faculties for the absurdist things, like being taken to task if they wear their stethoscope around their necks instead of carrying it in their coat pockets, "It is not something we do on purpose, it is just something that happens automatically. After we treat a patient, our hands by habit just put the stethoscope around our necks. We do so much work all day, sometimes we fail to put it in our pockets and we get so scared that somebody might notice and somebody always is. Recently, one of our friends did it by mistake and they cut his stipend for the month," one of the students said.
The interns are also not allowed to leave the premises almost entirely, especially the women,"Sometimes we work 36-hour shifts and still won't be able to even step out of the premises for a meal," the student said.
Besides this, the interns are strictly prohibited from using their phones and if an authority finds them with a phone, they are immediately seized, the students said. The interns are also not allowed to leave the premises almost entirely, especially the women,"Sometimes we work 36-hour shifts and still won't be able to even step out of the premises for a meal. We are only supposed to eat in the canteen. But at least the male students can leave the campus with permission but the women are not allowed to leave at all. Even if we apply for permission, we'll never hear back from them," she explained.
Bare necessities: The list of demands that the students are placing before administration
However, the biggest problem on their hands right now is the administration's demand for Rs 50,000 in addition to the Rs 1,00,000 that they have already paid for the hostel accommodation. The students said that they are expected to pay Rs 1 lakh a year for a single room with an attached bathroom. They are also expected to pay an additional Rs 1,75,000 which will be paid back to them as "stipend" during their compulsory internship. Now besides these expenses, the students are being asked to pay an additional 50,000 rupees in order to stay in the hostel during their internship, "If we don't pay by the deadline, the authorities are asking us to share a room with someone else. Our questions is when we stayed for the same amount in a single room last year, why should we pay 50K extra now?" the intern questioned.
Instead of listening to the students, the administration is now allegedly blocked the interns from the biometrics system so they cannot give their attendance. This was a consequence of 73 of the students approaching the district collector over this issue, "When we came back the administrative authorities demanded to know why we had gone and forced us to write an explanatory memo. Now they are refusing to let us work by disabling our account from the biometrics machine," the student said.
Dr GR Ravindranath, Doctors Association for Social Equality said it is unfair for students to be forced to pay the extra money and students from all backgrounds should be treated equally. The administration was not available for a comment.