COVID-19 in Mumbai: Doctors reporting for duty at hospital yet to receive salaries after 2 months

Updated: 12 August, 2020 08:10 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

More than 50 private doctors who reported to frontline in June at SevenHills COVID hospital at 24 hours notice are still awaiting salaries

Many of the doctors have had no salary for two months. Representation pic/Atul Kamble
Many of the doctors have had no salary for two months. Representation pic/Atul Kamble

More than 50 private doctors who had been told to report for COVID-19 duty at SevenHills Hospital by the civic body in June, have alleged that they are yet to receive their salaries. While some of them work with private hospitals and had taken leave, many others had to shut down their private practices and have been without income for the past two months.

None of the authorities were aware of who was supposed to pay them. But while doctors said they haven't received any money, the additional municipal commissioner said the issue has been resolved. A few doctors have claimed that they have lakhs in salary owed to them.

Some of the doctors had volunteered their services. Pic/Getty Images
Some of the doctors had volunteered their services. Pic/Getty Images

One of the doctors who worked at Seven Hills Hospital between June 12-July 9 said he is still waiting for his salary amounting to R2 lakh. "When they asked us to report for COVID duty, they gave us less than 24 hours and I was able to take leave from the hospital I work at. But when it comes to payment of the salary, there is no clarity. They told us that there was some issue with vendor registration and then said that the payment will be made in two instalments," he said.

'A delay is expected'
Another doctor who completed his degree in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) and is working at Seven Hills Hospital since June 12 said that he had to shut his clinic in Kandivli. "I have to pay a rent of R24,000 for my clinic besides personal expenses. I have used up all my savings and since I am the only earning member of my family, I need the salary to support them," he said. He added that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) owes him R1.2 lakh for two months.

Suresh Kakani, AMC
Suresh Kakani, AMC

Some of the doctors, including a 28-year-old general surgeon from Pune, despite being discouraged by her parents, had volunteered. "Since my exams were postponed, I thought I should help out in Mumbai where there was a need for doctors. Since a government body is involved, a delay is expected," she said. She added that she worked from June 3 till July 7 and is yet to receive R2 lakh.

A senior civic official said 58 of 108 asked to report for duty at Seven Hills Hospital had eventually joined. While BHMS doctors are to be paid R60,000, MBBS doctors are to be paid R80,000 and MD doctors R2,00,000 on a monthly basis.

Also Read: 80 per cent of private practice doctors contracted COVID-19

No one has a clue
None of the authorities were aware of who was responsible for the payments. Dr Balkrishna Adsul, the dean at Seven Hills Hospital, said that payment is handled by the civic body's public health department. But a senior official from the health department said, "Since the doctors were appointed for Seven Hills Hospital, their salaries would have to be taken care of by its management or the K East ward office."

Prashant Sapkale, assistant commissioner of K East ward said that the ward office is not dealing with the doctors. Despite doctors' claims that they haven't received any money, Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani, however, said the issue has been resolved. "The payment was supposed to be released by K East ward, the bills were to be released by the Seven Hills Hospital. The amount has been transferred to different bank accounts," he said.

58
Total no. of doctors awaiting salary for work at SevenHills

Rs 80k
What MBBS doctors are supposed to be paid

Rs 60k
What BHMS doctors are supposed to be paid

Rs 2 lakh
What MD doctors should be paid for their services

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First Published: 12 August, 2020 07:08 IST

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