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Mumbai hospital docs, staff finally get paid

Ten days after MiD DAY reported their plight (8 months on, 36 hospital staffers yet to get paid. March 6), all 36 paramedical staff at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) hospital in Parel as well as a few doctors were finally given their long overdue salaries. While the doctors received their salaries on Friday, the overjoyed para-medical staff received their salaries for the past five months on Saturday, after an eight month delay.

Technical snag
When asked about the delay in paying the hospital staff, state government officials had claimed that it was due to a technical snag. They also cited the absence of a proper authority through whom funds from the central government could be given to the 36 para-medical staff. These 36 people were appointed at MGM in July 2012. They were informed that their salaries would be funded by the Centre and forwarded to the hospital through the state government. The staff had quit their earlier jobs without serving notice because MGM authorities had given them a 48 hour deadline to join the hospital.

Authorities at MGM had told them initially that due to a delay in the documentation procedure, they would not receive their salaries for the first three months, on time. At the time, they were assured that their dues would be paid along with their salary in their fourth month of employment. But even after repeated attempts they were not given their pending salaries for seven months.

Though a letter confirming that the ESIC had transferred the funds for clearing the pending salaries around November 2012 was given to the para-medics, this transferred amount of Rs 41,95,210 was pending with the state government.

When SMD spoke to officials in the state government earlier this week they said that the issue would be sorted and the funds released within a couple of days. Finally on Saturday, the cheques were handed over to the staff members. The amount included salary from July to December 2012. The amount paid to each para-medic varied from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh, based on their pay scales.

A visibly happy para-medic told SMD, “We are really thankful to MiD DAY for taking up our cause and getting us our salaries. I have received a cheque of Rs 1.37 lakh . We have been informed that our salaries for the month of January and February this year would be paid once the Central government sanctions the funds. I can finally pay my relatives from whom I had borrowed money over the past few months.”

Doctors relieved
Following a protest by the doctors and nursing staff regarding their pending salaries and the need for more security at the hospital, the state government released their pending salary on Friday. Apart from receiving their pay, the hospital also got funds of around Rs 2.5 crore from the state government for paying the electricity and water bills that were pending since last year. Dr Nimish Shah, Medical superintendent at MGM hospital said, “Thanks to the report in MiD DAY all issues related to the pending salaries have been sorted out. We have also got clearance of rS 2.5 crore rupees for paying our outstanding bills. A meeting will be held next week to discuss matters about the hospital’s security.” 

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