Doctors' contribution for drought relief: After 3-month delay, only 50 pc funds released

After yesterday's mid-day report, DMER finally sent a cheque of Rs 2.2 lakh to the CM Devendra Fadnavis' relief fund; the rest is still lying with BMC owing to lack of communication

A day after mid-day reported that the amount deducted from resident doctors’ stipends in September to donate towards drought relief was still sitting with the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), the authorities finally signed a cheque for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund yesterday. But, it doesn’t end there. With over 4,000 doctors in 17 colleges, the donation should amount to around R4.5 lakh, but DMER has only handed over a cheque of Rs 2.2 lakh to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), owing to their tussle with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Also read: Rs 4.5 lakh donation money from doctors for drought relief, heart transplant sits unused

The cheque DMER issued to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund
The cheque DMER issued to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund

BMC has not yet sent the Rs 2 lakh that was to be collected from its three colleges, as it never received an official letter from DMER to do so. These three medical colleges that constitute half of the resident doctors in the state are Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, BYL Nair Ch Hospital & TN Medical College and LTMG Medical College.

Dr Avinash Supe, Dean of Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, had confirmed that they had received no such letter by DMER authorities to contribute the amount.

At the same time, 14 other medical colleges of the state, headed by DMER have already submitted their share, which was issued to the MARD representatives. Dr Sagar Mundada, president, central MARD said it’s a glaring miscommunication between the two bodies that is delaying the drought relief funds. “While Rs 100 was deducted from the accounts of every single resident doctor from the three medical colleges run by BMC, it was not submitted to DMER because there was no official conversation between the two. Our intent to help is stuck due to red tape,” said Mundada.

When contacted, Dr Pravin Shingare, director, DMER said, “If the deans of all these colleges would have been under my ambit, I could have directed them to submit the amount. However, since the three BMC colleges are under their respective deans and higher BMC officials, they follow a different hierarchy. For the remaining amount, MARD representatives will have to coordinate with the three colleges.”

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