DMER’s talks with interns fail

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MUMBAI: The medical interns’ strike showed no signs of ending even on Saturday, as the state government did not wish to commit on several grounds, including not invoking the Essential Maintenance Services Act (ESMA) on the former. The strike, over increasing the stipend amount given to interns from Rs 2,550 to Rs 13,000, has been going on since Monday.

On Saturday, talks between the interns and the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) broke down after the latter refused to give a written assurance about not invoking ESMA, and marking the students present on all days when they had struck work. The students had also demanded in writing that the DMER draft a fresh proposal suggesting a rise in the stipend amount.

Mumbai coordinator for the Association of State Medical Interns ( ASMI) Dhaval Shah said they wanted the DMER to tell the state that central government regulations deem an intern’s salary to be at least 40% of a junior resident doctor’s salary.

Meanwhile, 44 doctors in all were admitted to KEM Hospital and at least two doctors are in the intensive care unit with cardiac problems. Speaking about the strike, joint director of the DMER Dr Pravin Shingare said, “We have assured them of a hike, but we are not in a position of giving written assurances.”

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This post was submitted by prashant agarwal.

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