Paramedical staffers at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital in Parel have been working without salaries for the past eight months. Even doctors and nurses have gone without pay for the past two months. Yesterday, over 100 doctors and nursing staff left their offices and started working from under a tree inside the hospital campus. They chose this unique gesture of protest to demand for their unpaid salaries and better security.
After MiD DAY reported that about 36 paramedical staff working without pay since July 2012, another 450 staff members, including doctors who haven’t been paid for the months of January and February, joined in the protest (‘Eight months on, 36 hospital staffers yet to get paid,’ March 6).
The state-run hospital is reeling under debt on account of non-payment of grants by the state under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation. Sources at the hospital said that the salary grant of Rs 2.98 crore for employees including doctors, nursing staff, laboratory technicians and clerical staff has not been received for the past two months.
“Our suppliers have stopped supplying medicines to the hospital over non-payment of dues. The non-functional elevators have not been repaired, as payments to the private company that maintains them are due,” said Dr Nimish Shah, medical superintendent of MGM Hospital.
Apart from non-payment of salaries, outstanding bills for medicine purchases and equipment worth Rs 2.25 crore is yet to be granted by the state. Barring emergency services and critical units, patients from all other wards and departments have been shifted to other hospitals as renovation is underway. The hospital is being renovated after being granted permission for the construction of a medical college and a new hospital building.