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As North MCD felicitates nurses, they say pay us pending salaries first

North MCD mayor Jai Prakash felicitated around 25 nurses at Balak Ram Hospital for their contribution during the Covid crisis.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: May 12, 2021 7:07:12 pm
Delhi nurse strikeNorth MCD mayor Jai Prakash said the civic body’s funds for the first quarter have been held back by the Delhi government (Source: ANI File)

Even as the North MCD on Wednesday felicitated its staff to mark International Nurses Day, nurses working in hospitals under the civic body said they first need their salaries, which have been delayed by over two months.

North MCD mayor Jai Prakash felicitated around 25 nurses at Balak Ram Hospital for their contribution during the Covid crisis.

The salaries of nurses and doctors at the corporation’s hospitals have been delayed for two-three months even as Hindu Rao and Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases hospitals have been converted into Covid facilities.

Indu Jamwal, president of the Nurses Welfare Association, said, “It is good that nurses are being awarded, but before that the administration should understand that salary is the most basic thing for employees. Any other encouragement comes after that.”

“I had Covid in April and am now working in a Covid facility. We are tired of holding protests for salaries. On moral grounds, we cannot even go on strike during this crisis,” she said.

“We don’t mind working at a Covid facility, but we should at least be paid on time. We have not been paid for the last three months.”

Hospitals such as Hindu Rao, Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases, Kasturba Hospital, Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital, Balak Ram Hospital and Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis fall under the North MCD, as do 21 dispensaries, 63 maternity and child welfare centres, 17 polyclinics and seven maternity homes. The North MCD employs at least 1,000 senior doctors, 500 resident doctors and 1,500 nursing officers.

Manju Lata, a nurse at Kasturba Hospital, said she and her whole family have tested positive. “And the last salary we got was in February. We are a family of four people and everyone got Covid in the last two weeks. I took help from Sewa Bharti to get food,” she said. “A blood thinner injection costs around Rs 1,000… and amid all this, there is a distress of not getting paid.”

B L Sharma, a nurse at Kasturba Hospital, said the employees are squeezed between the politics between BJP-ruled MCDs and AAP-ruled Delhi government.

While the three corporations accuse the government of not giving them their fair share of funds, the government alleges misappropriation of funds by the MCDs.

North MCD mayor Jai Prakash said the civic body’s funds for the first quarter have been held back by the Delhi government, because of which the salary has been delayed. “AAP knows MCD elections are due next year, so they are doing this to gain political mileage,” he said.

AAP MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak said MCDs have been repeatedly reprimanded by the court for not paying salaries, and they blame the government as an excuse. “If they cannot run the MCDs, they should quit,” he said.

Dr Sagar Deep, general secretary of Hindu Rao Hospital’s Resident Doctors’ Association, said doctors too have not been paid for over two months.

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