Kerala nurses to get higher wages than some doctors after new rule

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  About 120 employees took part in the agitation and submitted a memorandum to the university registrar.
About 120 employees took part in the agitation and submitted a memorandum to the university registrar.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Imagine doctors being paid less than the nurses. This is virtually going to happen in the private medical colleges in the state with the implementation of the minimum wages for nurses.

The stipend paid by the private medical colleges to the house surgeons and post graduates is much less than what the nurses are going to get after the notification by the government.

If the basic pay of the nurses at a hospital upto 100 bed strength becomes Rs 20,000, the same hospital will have a house surgeon receiving a stipend of Rs 4,500 in the state. The post graduates are being paid a stipend of Rs 16,000 for three years.

Even though the Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) had directed all the private medical college managements to provide the stipend same as that of the government medical colleges, none of the managements have accepted this proposal.

In the government medical colleges, the stipend given for house surgeons is Rs 20,000 and for the PGs it is Rs 42,000. “This is a grave issue and we had highlighted this several times to the state government and also to the university. The work load of these junior doctors is unimaginable as they spend 10 to 12 hours a day in the wards and operation theatres,” said Dr UR Rahul, state president of All Kerala Medical Post Graduates Association.

The private medical colleges have no uniformity in payments to these junior doctors and it ranges between Rs 4,500 to Rs 12,000, depending upon the managements, for house surgeons and Rs 10,000 to Rs 16,000 for PGs.

“The IMA has a strong opinion that the house surgeons should be paid Rs 30,000 and medical PGs should be given Rs 60,000 as stipend in all the private and government medical colleges. They are the back bone of the hospitals and they are the ones who are taking all the patient load,” said IMA state secretary Dr N Sulphi.

In Thiruvananthapuram, two private medical colleges are paying Rs 6000 and Rs 8000 as stipend for the junior doctors. The lowest pay master is the one in Kannur which pays only Rs 4,500. The colleges under the Christian managements are paying a stipend between Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000.

The medical council of India will have to come out with a stipulation on this or else the private managements are not going to pay them well. We have 23 private medical colleges and the junior doctors are paid very poor here, said Dr Kavitha Ravi, former state president of Kerala Government Medical Teachers Association (KGMCTA).

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