Medical services in the Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Civil ( Tembha) hospital in Bhayandar are likely to get crippled from July 21, as nearly 154 contractual staffers attached to the state government run establishment have decided to go on an indefinite mass leave to protest against non-payment of salaries for the past four months.
The contractual staffers include 55 nurses, 40 ward boys, five X-ray technicians and 54 sanitation workers who have been denied wages since April. The mass leave will be held under the aegis of the Vivek Pandit led Shramjeevi Kaamgar Sanghatana (SKS).
Wages never given on time
“It is really unfortunate that these contractual staffers who play a crucial role in the smooth functioning of the 100-bedded hospital have always been deprived of timely wages. These staffers come from poor economic background and struggle to make ends meet. Some have not paid their children's school fees owing to the authorities' apathy. We have officially informed the civic surgeon that we will wait for payments till July 20, failing which the entire contractual workforce will go on a mass leave and the authorities will be responsible for its consequences,” said SKS working president Sultan Patel.
The government had roped in a private agency to provide manpower to the hospital on a contractual basis whose contract ended in March 2023. However, neither has the government extended the contract, nor has the process of floating a fresh tender been initiated.
When contacted, civil surgeon Dr Zafar Tadvi said, "I have intimated my higher-ups including the deputy director of health services, Thane regarding the stand taken up by the contractual staffers. Being an emergency service providing institution, the authorities have initiated a process to extend the contract. Hopefully the issue will be resolved in the next two days.”
MBMC requests state government to take over hospital
Expressing restraints to sustain the huge administrative expenses to run the medical institution, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had requested the state government to take over the hospital. Consequently, the state government authorities took over the reins of the hospital in 2018.