Doctors go on indefinite hunger strike in Chennai

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Chennai, July 13(ANI): Intern doctors in Chennai on Monday resorted to an indefinite hunger strike over demand for higher stipend.

The intern house surgeons and post-graduate assistants have been on an indefinite strike since July 1, and now have resorted to a hunger strike of 'fast unto death' from Monday.

"The reason why we have gone for hunger strike today is that despite all our efforts for two weeks, nothing has been done. They have called us for talks but no discussion has been going on," said Dr. Athira, a CRRI (compulsory rotatory residential intern) of Madras Medical College.

"We have been asked to call off the strike first without increase in the stipend. And they have not given anything in a written format. So we are intensifying the strike from today expecting the government to give solution to our problem," she added.

Their demands include increasing the present stipend for the CRRI from Rs 4,500 to Rs 10.000, for the postgraduates from Rs 8000 to Rs 25,000, for super speciality post-graduates from Rs 9,500 to Rs 28,000 alongside an annual hike of 10 percent.

The intern doctors highlighted that despite all their efforts, the government has not paid any heed to their demands.

"We had been sending multiple representations to the government for the past year but since we haven't got any positive response, we did a token strike on February 24 and now we waited for four months and after that we have decided to go on an indefinite strike. From July 1st we have been on an indefinite strike," said Dr. Mayurish, a post graduate medical student of Madras Medical College.

Further, the interns emphasised that the government ought to cater to problems as soon as possible, so as to enable resumption of normal work in the hospitals. (ANI)

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