Amid the pandemic, all the medical officers are working round the clock at the government-run hospitals across Maharashtra have now written to the Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD) requesting to make them permanent. Currently over 450 MOs who are working 24/7 have to renew their employment contract after every 120 days so that they can get basic employment benefits.
One of the medical officers working at Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy Hospital said there are 453 such MOs in 18 medical colleges in the state who are struggling to get permanent since the last ten years. Moreover, in the last seven months, since the pandemic outbreak, he had to request the hospital twice to renew his employment contract. Despite having 13 years experience, I am still a contractual labour and my other colleagues who are on a permanent payroll get over Rs 1 lakh as monthly salary, while I am still stuck at Rs 65,000 because I am not qualified to get increments at par with permanent employees,” he said.
Medical officers are not less than the dean and medical superintendents as they hold the most important position in hospitals. They have to handle medico-legal cases and also look after Covid-19 and non-Covid patients along with VIP duties.
“We don’t have provident funds and pensions as we are on contract. As per rules, we have to stay near our respective hospitals but we are technically not qualified to have hospital quarters. Every 120 days, we have to request our hospitals to renew our contracts which are quite unfair as we do similar amounts of work as the permanent employees,” said a MO from JJ hospital.
A day after they had written a letter to the Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD), the members of Medical College Medical Officers Association (MCMOA) held a silent protest by wearing black ribbons at 18 medical colleges seeking to make their job permanent on October 15.
“There are medical officers working in these posts since the last 8 to 10 years. In the wake of the Corona pandemic, all these medical officers are working day and night to take care of the patients and the administration. If the doctors are regularised, there will be no additional financial burdens but it will help in strengthening the administration of the government hospitals,” reads the letter.
Medical officers said this discriminatory attitude of the state government is diverting them towards private practice as their request are not being heard and private practitioners are being paid Rs 1 lakh for treating Covid-19 patients.