House surgeons and postgraduate students in the medical and dental colleges under the Academy of Medical Science (popularly known as Pariyaram Medical College) at Pariyaram began an indefinite strike on Thursday to press their demand an increase in stipend on a par with government scale.

The agitators staged a sit-in in front of the administrative office of the college. The indefinite strike followed a token strike on April 25. The strike affected the functioning of some wings of the medical and dental colleges.

The Pariyaram Medical College authorities, in a press release here on Thursday, said the stipend for house surgeons and PG students had already been increased. Terming the indefinite strike “unwarranted”, they said none of the 11 private and self-financing medical colleges in the State with PG courses had hiked the stipend this year, whereas the Pariyaram Medical College had increased the stipend in spite of the fact that it received no grant from the government. At present, PG students in the medical college received around Rs.10,000 by way of stipend.

The release said that in some private medical colleges, house surgeons were paid only Rs.2,000 as stipend. The monthly revised stipend rates for PG students for the first, second and third year was Rs.23,000, Rs.24,000 and Rs.25,000 respectively, the release informed.

The MBBS house surgeons’ stipend was increased from Rs.8,000 to Rs.10,000 while that of BDS house surgeons was hiked from Rs.5,500 to Rs.7,500, it informed. With the revision of stipend, the institution had to bear an additional financial burden of over Rs.1 crore, the release claimed.

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