Postgraduate students and interns of the city’s medical colleges intensified their protest on Monday, with a demonstration near the Collector’s office around 5 p.m. About 100 students from Madras Medical College (MMC), Stanley Medical College and Kilpuak Medical College gathered to demand that their monthly stipend be hiked.

The students have been protesting for several weeks now, and have even met the State health secretary and placed their demands before him, they said.

“At Rs.17,400 per month, we are the lowest paid PG medical students in the country,” one student from MMC said. “All we are asking for is that we be paid on par with the doctors who work for the State government and get Rs. 45,000 per month. This is not an unreasonable request,” he said.

A postgraduate student from Stanley Medical College said despite several years of education, she and her fellow students still could not support a family. “My parents are over 50 years old and I hate to still depend on them for financial assistance but I have no choice,” she said.

The interns too are unhappy with their stipend. “We get only Rs. 8,500 but interns in Kerala are paid Rs. 15,000,” one intern said.

A senior health department official said a representation to this effect had been made by the students and was being examined.

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