Patna: Health services at Bihar medical colleges were disrupted as the junior doctors’ strike for increase of stipend entered its second day on Thursday.
Around 1,000 junior doctors, pursuing postgraduate courses and considered the backbone of emergency and OPD services in the medical colleges, attacked the state government for not increasing their stipends despite promises.
Dr Alok Kumar, a junior doctor at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, said: “The Health Department has promised to increase stipend since January 2020. Now, almost a year is ending, but the state government is not increasing it.”
Another junior doctor Rakesh Sharma said: “We have written several letters to the Health Department. We even gave an ultimatum before going into strike on Wednesday but the government has not taken us seriously. Hence, we have stopped services in emergency and OPD.”
Junior doctor Renu Singh said: “We have put our lives at risk in the corona phase and served the patients wholeheartedly. Many of our colleagues got infected with coronavirus, still, we have not stopped our services. It looks like the state government does not care about us.”
At present, junior doctors in first, second and third years are getting Rs 50,000, Rs 55,000 and Rs 60,000 respectively, but are demanding Rs 80,000, Rs 85,000 and Rs 90,000, respectively.
The state government had last revised the stipend on May 9, 2017. The Junior Doctor Association claims about the stipend is revised in every three years.
Bihar has 6 medical colleges having facilities of post graduate courses.
Following the strike, critically-ill patients started at medical college hospitals started moving to private hospitals.