Resident Doctor Stipend/Salary in India: The Disparities

Salary of MBBS Doctors in India: The Disparities
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Resident Doctor Stipend/Salary in India

A doctor talking about salary has been an issue which has always been frowned upon in a country like India where public wants to see healthcare as a free social service. 

On the contrary, instead of asking the government, the political class and the policy makers for the free status of healthcare, the brunt of this expectation has to be borne by the doctors.

Hardly a few people from the general public actually have an idea about the money their elected government spend on them in a year.

As per WHO’s Global healthcare expenditure database, the healthcare expenditure by India per capita per year was just 5 dollars ( Just Rs. 369/ year/person !!) which is just barely above the expenditure by Pakistan and Bangladesh.

India has one of the lowest expenditures on healthcare among 36 other OECD countries.

Salary of MBBS Doctors in India: The Disparities

Sri Lanka’s per capita expenditure on healthcare is 3-4 times higher than that of India. 

 

The table below shows the US$ per capita Health Expenditure of USA, UK, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Countries Indicators Unit 2016

US$ per capita Health Expenditure

United States of America Capital health expenditure in current US$ per capita 343
United Kingdom Capital health expenditure in current US$ per capita 124
Sri Lanka Capital health expenditure in current US$ per capita 15
India Capital health expenditure in current US$ per capita 5
Pakistan Capital health expenditure in current US$ per capita 4
Bangladesh Capital health expenditure in current US$ per capita 1

This per capita health spending has wide disparities even within the country with Tamil Nadu having highest per capita expenditure of Rs 447/year/person and Bihar having lowest per capita expenditure of Rs 100/year/person (NIPFP, 2005).

Owing to this gross under funding of healthcare sector by the government, it translates into poor quality healthcare and very low pay scales for doctors and other health workers.

Apart from the problem of low Government expenditures in health, other issue that affects the doctors is the gross disparity in the salaries of Government doctors amongst different states of India.

State wise sample stipend of Resident doctors in India

Below are the state wise sample stipend of resident doctor in India- post MBBS, during PG and Super specialization along with the institute review based on the survey conducted by WorldSurgeryForum.net.

Why Low stipend/salaries for Resident Doctors in India are not justified?

The gross disparities between states and unjustifiably low salaries in some states are obvious by few of the examples below:

  • An Assistant Professor with a postgraduate qualification in a Medical College in Tamil Nadu having 20-30k lesser salary than a Junior resident post MBBS doctor in Delhi NCR.
  • An Assistant Professor in a Government Medical college in Tamil Nadu doing 50-60 hrs of duties along with night duties with many emergency surgeries and procedures per week having a lower salary than a Professor in arts/ science government college doing 30-40 hrs of duties in a week in the same city.
  • A doctor in mid 30s working as a senior resident in a superspecialty department in a Medical college with post doctorate degrees giving 100-120 hrs of duties per week in Tamil Nadu having a lower salary than a graduate Call centre employee in the same city.

These issues start pinching manifold when a person has spent 50 lacs to 1 crore on his education or has been bonded with a government bond of Rs. 20 lacs to Rs. 2 crore for a period of 1-10 years!

Also read: WHY INDIAN MEDICAL AND SURGICAL SUPERSPECIALTY SEATS ARE GOING EMPTY?

These examples have become a big source of demotivation for a majority of doctors as these financial issues are compounded by not being able to give enough time to family leading to marital problems which are on the rise in the medical fraternity.

Everybody is aware that the family life of young doctors goes for a toss as the duty hours for young resident Indian doctors can go upto 100-120 hours per week. Each doctor has to go through this heavy duty schedule in the starting 6-7 years of the career.

Another issue is that of unjust and unruly demonic bonds by various state governments. The government has taken the model of apprenticeship followed in Medical education in a very wrong way.

Also Read: AN OPEN LETTER TO PMO: TRAINEE DOCTORS IN INDIA HAVE BECOME BONDED LABOURERS WITH NO CHOICE OF THEIR OWN (NEET SS BONDS)

In an apprenticeship model, where a trainee doctor is a valued component of the hospital workforce while he is also learning and improving his skills on the job. He is not like a post graduate engineering or humanities student who is just exclusively learning and is liable to pay a hefty fee. He is an apprentice; he is contributing much more to the system than he is learning on the job.

The bond structure in our country has its origin in the premise that a trainee doctor is a student and is liable to pay full fee for his training. And if he is not paying the fee at par with a private sold or sponsored NRI seat, he is liable for a bond lasting for up to 10 years breaking which he is asked to pay an amount upto 2 crore rupees. This mind set has to be changed and requires a strong opposition from the medical fraternity!

Also read: DRACONIAN GOVERNMENT BONDS IN INDIA FOR GOVERNMENT MEDICAL SUPER SPECIALTY SEATS: 10 YEARS OR RS 2 CRORE!

Conclusion

Though discussing about salaries may not be considered good, but this is one issue that actually matters to each and every person who has old parents and a family to take care of, like people in all other professions. We should be open in discussing them because of these unjust and grave disparities in the pay structure across our country.

Looking at these issues we should call for a uniform pay scale structure for all resident doctors in the whole country, one which exists on paper in form of pay commission recommendations but is not followed by most of the state governments since Health happens to be a state subject.

Resident Doctor Salary/Stipend in India along with review of respective institutes based on Survey conducted by the World  Surgery Forum

Salary/Stipend Survey Year 2021 (Scroll and Search the Table)

Salary/Stipend Survey Year 2020 (Scroll and Search the Table)

Salary/Stipend Survey Year 2019 and 2018 (Scroll and Search the Table)

References

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