Resident doctors from four civic-run hospitals have threatened to go on a hunger strike if their arrears of Rs 1.2 lakh are not resolved in the next seven days. Following which they have to hold a silent protest with the hashtags #BMCBETRAYEDUS. However, the resident doctors have assured none of the patients will be affected by their strike as they will be working and attending to all patients. Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors unit has asked the administration to sort the issue in the next three days, failing which they would go on hunger strike.
Dr Arun Ghule, president, KEM Mard said currently they have launched poster agitation using hashtags #BMCBETRAYEDUS, but in the next three days, all the resident doctors will go on hunger strike. For which they will be informing the local police station. “For now we haven’t received any letter or clarifications from the civic body regarding arrears of Rs 1.2 lakh which has been deducted. Moreover, we were paid Rs 10,000 as an incentive for Covid duty, but the BMC converted it to the stipend and now they are denied to return it,” he said.
Civic officials said they are looking into the matter and by the next week the arrears of resident doctors will be resolved. “We are discussing with the Directorate of Medical Education and Research following which further steps will be taken. For now, we haven’t given anything written to the doctors,” he said.
A resident doctor said a circular released in June mentioned Rs 300 would be given as daily incentive to all healthcare workers. “Additionally, the circular stated Rs 10,000 would be given to all doctors for Covid duty. These incentives were extended at the time the government and the BMC were giving Rs 80,000 to MBBS doctors and Rs 1.5 lakh for specialists from outside. It did not mention stipends.” The stipend was around Rs 55,000 and hiked by Rs 10,000 in September, said the doctor.
Another resident doctor said they were told the money paid, Rs 10,000 a month, for Covid duty will be adjusted against arrears. “We will be not left with any option to do hunger protest as strike in these times will suffer needy patients but BMC has to equally responsible for patients as well as doctors."