Bangladesh trainee doctors, interns go on strike over pay

The health minister fails to specify a date for the settlement of the issues they have raised

Published : 24 March 2024, 02:27 PM
Updated : 24 March 2024, 02:27 PM

The Postgraduate Private Trainee Doctors Association and Intern Doctors Council have launched a strike across Bangladesh over demands that the authorities raise their salaries and clear back pay.

After their demonstration in Dhaka on Saturday, Health Minister Samanta Lal Sen said the government would look into their demands in a meeting on Sunday.

The health minister failed to specify a date for the settlement of the issues they raised after Sunday’s meeting, forcing them to call the industrial action, said Jabir Hossain, president of the trainee doctors association.

“The minister said he would raise the issues with the upper level of the government, and that he would try to solve the problem by discussing it with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. But he could not specify any date. We later decided to stop performing our duties,” Jabir said.

Azizur Rahman, a member of the interns’ council, said they also enforced the strike to press the authorities for meeting their demands.

Abu Rayhan, an intern at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, confirmed that they stopped working in support of the strike.

The government-run and autonomous hospitals have around 8,000 postgraduate trainees and 4,000 interns.

The protesters have asked the authorities to increase the salary of intern doctors to Tk 30,000 and the salary of postgraduate private trainee doctors to Tk 50,000. They also demanded that the due bills of FCPS, resident and non-resident doctors be cleared.

Trainee doctors have been deprived of their allowances for the last nine months, according to the protesters.

Private medical organisations have stopped providing allowances to resident and diploma trainees, said Jabir.

The trainee doctors have also demanded that allowances of resident and non-resident doctors in 12 private institutes under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University be reintroduced and the Doctors Protection Act be implemented after passage in parliament.