NSUI chief Neeraj Kundan demands increase in stipend of medical interns in J&K

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Jammu: National president of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) Neeraj Kundan on Saturday demanded increase in the stipend of medical interns, who are equally putting their lives at risk in fight against COVID despite their being the much ignored and underpaid frontline workers.

In a letter to UT’s Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, the NSUI leader drew his attention towards government’s recent decision to provide incentives to senior resident doctors, junior resident doctors, paramedics and sanitation staff. Even the final year medical students have been paid the incentive, but interns are left out, he added.

In the current pandemic, medical interns in Jammu and Kashmir, much like post graduate medical students and registrars, work as front line workers in COVID wards and screening sections, he said. However, they are highly underpaid as compared to other UTs in the country, he added.

In this context, he pointed out that against Rs 23,500 a month in Delhi and Rs 18,000 in Chandigarh, the interns in J&K are paid only Rs 12,000 a month in government medical colleges and Rs 6,000 in ASCOMS.

The NSUI leader demanded increase in the stipend of the interns to at least Rs.22,000 a month, apart from providing health insurance to all working in Government Medical Colleges, ASCOMS, SKIMS, and other hospitals in J&K. This will boost their morale as they are working at par with PG students in hospitals with full enthusiasm and dedication in fight against pandemic, he added.