ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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From 50 Years Ago: Sore to the Touch

Vol IV, No 27 july 5, 1969

Sore to the Touch

A Correspondent writes:

The doctors’ strike in the public hospitals of Bombay has just been called off after Government had conceded some of their demands, but the principal issues raised by the strike remain alive.

The medical student who completes his MBBS must spend a year as Intern before he can become a registered medical practitioner. If he wants to gain more clinical experience before setting up his own practice or if he wants to pursue an MS or MD degree, he works as a Houseman in the hospital and eventually as a Registrar … Interns, Housemen and Registrars, these are the stipendiaries whom the authorities view as “scholars’’.

These “scholars’ bear the brunt of running hospitals whose resources are inadequate for the functions they are expected to perform. In one local hospital, employing about 15 permanent doctors and 300 stipendiaries (100 Interns and 200 Housemen/Registrars), the number of in-patients is never less than 1,500 against a nominal bed capacity of 1,000 and the out-patients who flock daily to its door rarely number less than 2,000. In the Out-Patients Department, some 50 odd doctors have to examine and prescribe for the 2,000 visitors in the course of something like four hours! It is not surprising, then, that the striking doctors’ demands include not just improved stipends and living conditions for themselves, but, equally important, improved working conditions in the hospitals themselves.

Updated On : 4th Jul, 2019

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