Maharashtra: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation yet to pay revised stipends to medical Interns

The Joint Secretary of the Association of State Medical Interns in Maharashtra alleges that despite submitting relevant documents, the municipal corporation is yet to act upon the order
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Source: EdexLive Desk

After a tumultuous period faced by Maharashtra's resident doctors regarding issues of payment of stipends, their regularisation and other infrastructural deficiencies in Maharashtra hospitals, the government met with their demands and released a new list of government resolutions (GRs) for the benefit of the doctors in the state.

However, a new issue has sprung up.

Intern doctors under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) medical colleges are alleging that despite the state government passing a GR for a stipend hike, the interns are yet to receive the revised amount.

Government Resolution stated an increase of Rs 7,000 in stipend for interns
According to a GR that was passed on February 27, 2024, the authority had mandated an increase in the stipend from Rs 11,000 to Rs 18,000 per month, effective from February, for interns working at all government hospitals including ayurvedic, Unani, and homoeopathy, under the jurisdiction of the state of Maharashtra.

According to Dr Abhinav Wagh, a Joint Secretary of the Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI), Maharashtra, the medical colleges in Maharashtra, including those at JJ Hospital, Baramati, Ambajogai, Aurangabad, and Yavatmal, have been paying the revised stipend to their interns. However, the BMC continues to pay the outdated stipend to its interns.

"The BMC alleges that they are not aware of the revised statement. We intimated them about the notice on March 1, and for about 1.5 months we received no response. The association then decided to take matters into their own hands," said Dr Abhinav.

He further alleged that to implement the state government's directive, the municipal corporations must issue independent corporate resolutions for the implementation of the state government's directive, but the BMC has failed to do so on time.

To speed up the process, the association approached the deans of five medical colleges for their assent on a document, which was forwarded to the BMC. The colleges are:

- Raje Edward Memorial Hospital

- Topiwala National Medical College Bai Yamunabai Laxman Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai

- Nair Dental College, Mumbai

- Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital

- Hinduhrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Medical College

- Dr Rustom Narsi Cooper Municipal General Hospital 

According to Dr Abhinav, the BMC is yet to respond, resulting in further delay.

A bureaucratic lapse or an intentional delay?
According to a press notification from the Association of State Medical Interns, Maharashtra, interns are increasingly frustrated with the lack of cooperation from the BMC. They further state that the process is a "bureaucratic lapse", or as per Dr Abhinav, a "purposeful delay or procrastination" on the part of BMC.

The association, hence, demands a prompt resolution of the issue and disbursal of the increased stipends, to provide fair compensation and alleviate financial difficulties faced by these medical interns.

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