Other States

Doctors at Maharashtra’s govt. hospitals demand pay hike

Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD). Source: @BjmcMard  

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has demanded a pay hike for senior resident doctors across government hospitals.

Senior resident doctors said they have neither received a pay hike nor the hazard fund despite working so hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They have urged the State government to consider their demand, failing which they have threatened to go on a strike next month.

In a petition to the Dean of the city-based B.J. Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, they observed that senior residents had done equal work, like their junior counterparts, during the pandemic.

Dr. Prashant Munde, advisor to MARD, said that senior resident doctors had been bearing the major workload of combating COVID-19 in government medical colleges and hospitals.

“While there has been an increase in the pay of junior resident doctors and lecturers at government medical colleges, senior resident doctors have till now been getting minimal stipend,” Dr. Munde said.

According to recent government orders, two important decisions led to increase in the pay of junior residents, medical officers and lecturers.

Stating that senior resident doctors were hitherto being paid a minimal stipend (when compared with what should have been their due under the Seventh Pay Commission), MARD has urged that the pay for senior residents be hiked from the current ₹66,000 per month to ₹1 lakh per month.

“We expect a positive response from the government by next month, else senior residents will have no option but to go on strike,” read the petition.

Dr. Dnyaneshwar Dhobale Patil, president of MARD’s central committee, observed that resident doctors were being used as a makeshift alternative to cope with the overwhelming surge in cases and fatalities.

“Unfortunately, they have neither been paid any hazard fund nor received any salary hike like the junior doctors in proportion to their services during the pandemic,” he said.

A little more than a week ago, resident doctors in medical colleges and hospitals had vehemently protested the Central government’s postponement of exams like PG-NEET, besides the extension of the tenure of all resident doctors for the duration of the pandemic.

MARD had dubbed the decisions “impractical and unacceptable”.

“These measures on part of the Centre will choke-up the flow of well-qualified doctors to the healthcare system of country. On the one hand, exams are postponed to avoid Covid exposure to students, while on the other the same students are expected to perform full-time Covid duties,” MARD had said, in a statement.

According to doctors, the decision by Central government was akin to exploiting the already overburdened and exhausted residents by making them continuously work in COVID-19 wards.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 6:12:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/doctors-at-maharashtras-govt-hospitals-demand-pay-hike/article34588705.ece

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