Resident doctors of North MCD-run Hindu Rao and Kasturba Gandhi hospitals protested at Jantar Mantar Thursday, demanding payment of their salaries that have been stalled for over three months.
“Kasturba Gandhi hospital is one of the biggest maternity centres. We have been treating many non-Covid patients, and there is such a backlog. As we aren’t earning, we have had to borrow from people. We are doing our duty, and it is our right to be paid,” said resident doctor Dr Uma (30).
Dr Neha Singh (27), a resident doctor from the same hospital, said, “This irregular payment of salaries is not new – it has been going on for years. How do they expect us to manage in Delhi without salaries? Even though we have got one month’s salary, basic expenditures are so high. We want a permanent solution to this problem.”
Resident doctors at Hindu Rao hospital have been protesting since early September, while Kasturba Gandhi hospital doctors joined mid-October.
President of the Hindu Rao RDA, Abhimanyu Sardana, told The Indian Express that non-academic resident doctors, whose contracts are renewed every 44 days, are worried about losing their jobs. “The administration is threatening to not renew contracts of many such doctors — around 50 — whose term expired during this period… It has also said salaries will be paid by December,” he claimed.
North MCD Mayor Jai Prakash told The Indian Express, “We have met the doctors twice in the past 8-10 days. At first, they agreed to call off the strike once we paid them a month’s salary, but they went back on the promise. This is a funding crisis. The Delhi government refuses to give funds and is asking to take over the hospitals, which is not a solution… It will take us two-three months for us to find a solution but they must meet us halfway. We cannot have doctors forgo their duties.”
On allegations made by doctors on receiving threats of contract termination, Prakash said, “There have been no such threats.”
AAP’s Sultana Abad, North MCD councillor from Jama Masjid ward, who was at the protest, told The Indian Express:
“The Delhi government is ready to take over hospitals from the MCDs. The MCDs say the Delhi government does not give funds but that is a lie; there is nothing but corruption in the MCD.”
Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary, also at the protest, said: “Doctors from various hospitals are on strike and have come to the streets. The situation is serious, and the Congress will join their fight.”
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