APJUDA to launch Twitter Storm on June 15 seeking stipend hike for Super Speciality PG doctors

The association is staging a Twitter storm tomorrow at 5 pm with hashtags, #Justice4SuperSpecialityPG, #ReviseSTIPENDreviveSSPGs, #Equity4IntegrityofSSPGs and #WeSERVEweDESERVEhike 
Here are the details | (Pic: EdexLive)
Here are the details | (Pic: EdexLive)

The Andhra Pradesh Junior Doctors' Association (APJUDA) is going to stage a protest by launching a Twitter storm tomorrow, June 15, at 5 pm urging the Director of Medical Education (DME) to hike the stipend for super speciality (SS) doctors. On June 8, 2023, APJUDA wrote a letter to the DME seeking a stipend hike for super speciality doctors in AP. "The hike was supposed to happen last year. However, our juniors who are pursuing their postgraduation have received a 15% hike, but not us," claimed a second-year resident doctor from Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada, Dr Vaibhav T. 

Giving more details, he said, "Our stipends are not on par with the national average or neighbouring states." He claimed that the stipend for super speciality doctors in Telangana is Rs 97,000 and even Odisha has recently hiked the stipend to Rs 80,000. "When neighbouring states are ready to support the doctors, we are being underpaid," he affirms. 

"Most of the doctors are married and with families. And in these tough times of post-pandemic, the hike is needed," he stresses. 

Meeting with DME
When asked what happened at the meeting with DME, he said, "The DME said the file is with the finance department." But it's been seven months since the file was stuck in the department, Dr Vaibhav alleges and recalls adding that there has been no response in spite of several representations and letters. 

APJUDA's letter to DME read, "In Andhra Pradesh, a senior resident in a broad specialty receives a monthly stipend of Rs. 70,000 (ref-1), whereas super specialty residents, despite their higher educational hierarchy, are being paid significantly less in comparison. It is worth noting that our neighboring state, Telangana, provides a stipend of Rs. 1,01,829 to super specialty post graduates (ref-4)."

Further, it added, "We have been diligently pursuing this matter since October 2022, through repeated requests to the Honorable Minister of Health and Family Welfare, the Health Secretary, and the Director of Medical Education (DME) of Andhra Pradesh. Our stipend hike file (file comp no – 1888986), which was proposed to be Rs. 70,000, Rs. 72,000, and Rs. 74,000 for the first, second and third year super specialty post graduates respectively, has not been escalated for approval to date, despite multiple requisitions."

What now?
The association is staging a Twitter storm tomorrow at 5 pm with hashtags, #Justice4SuperSpecialityPG, #ReviseSTIPENDreviveSSPGs, #Equity4IntegrityofSSPGs and #WeSERVEweDESERVEhike". Speaking on this, Dr Vaibhav said, "If social media storms and media representations will get the attention, we will be forced to boycott the OPD (Outpatient Department) services. And the last resort will be boycotting the emergency services which we are not intended to pursue," he added. 

The letter to DME read, "Despite our patient and persistent requests spanning over 18 months, it is regrettable that there is no positive outcome. If our concerns remained unaddressed, we have no other option but to go for a sequential protest followed by boycotting duties in all the medical college attached tertiary care centers." 

However, the second-year resident doctor feels hopeful that there will soon be a hike in the stipend for super speciality PG doctors. 

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