Srinagar: Around 700 medical interns who have been working at the forefront in the fight against the fast-spreading coronavirus have been excluded from the list of frontline health warriors who will be provided with the incentives.
The medical interns believe that incentives and safety measures announced by the Admin are the pressing priority of all the medical interns who have been working day and night during the pandemic.
On May 03 Jammu and Kashmir administration announced to grant incentives for frontline health workers dealing with COVID patients. The administration also decided to grant an extension to retiring doctors up to December in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials from the information department informed that incentives will be Rs 10, 000 per month for resident doctors, post-graduates, and medical officers. Rs 7, 000 will be granted to nursing and paramedical staff, and Rs 5, 000 for drivers, sweepers, and attendants.
However, the administration has excluded medical interns from government medical colleges of both Jammu and Kashmir from the list of COVID warriors who will be provided the incentive for their efforts in fighting the fatal virus.
Dr Tajamul, one of the medical interns at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital said: “From consultant to drivers, everyone has been included in the list of those frontline health workers who will be given incentives from the month of May. However, the administration has completely excluded medical interns who are on the forefront in the hospitals in fighting with coronavirus.”
He said that medical interns are directly dealing with COVID patients along with junior residents but they have been barred from receiving incentives.
“We have approached concerned authorities but did not receive any positive response from them. Our institution has also written to the administration that includes medical interns as well in the list but till this date, there is no response from the Admin,” he added.
Dr Suhaib, another intern in SMHS hospital said: “While dealing with the COVID patients I contracted the virus last month due to which my entire family turned COVID positive. We have been working at par with other health workers including nursing staff but I failed to understand why the administration excluded the whole class of health workers when we are risking our lives and that of our families and fighting equally to treat the patients.”
He said that like other health workers medical interns should also be provided accommodation so that their families are at the safer end.
“After contracting virus from me, my grandmother succumbed to the virus. In order to keep our families at the safer end, the administration should provide us separate accommodation,” he added.
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather did not respond to the repeated calls and messages from Free Press Kashmir.