In a bid to attract more specialised doctors to civic hospitals, the health department has increased the honorarium given to them by 900%.
At present, close to 200 honorary doctors serve at various hospitals run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
“Many senior doctors work in honorary positions at civic hospitals, but we want more doctors to join, so we have revised the honorarium from Rs1,000 to Rs10,000 a month,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
“We want the number of honorary doctors to double at civic hospitals.”
Honorary doctors can run an outpatient department (OPD) for between one and five days at civic hospitals. “Even if a specialised surgeon wants to run an OPD for a day a week, the BMC will pay him Rs1,000 a month. And if he comes three days a week, the honorarium will be Rs5,000 a month,” added Mhaiskar.
Civic officials said that the honorarium was revised after more than 15 years.
“Having honorary doctors is not the solution for the shortage of doctors at BMC hospitals; doctors should be appointed. The worrying part is many refer poor patients to their private practice,” said a senior doctor from KEM hospital, Parel.
The BMC health department is also looking to increase the number of staff members in specific departments that get many patients.
“We have decided to add more positions for teaching doctors, which will also help increase the postgraduate seats,” said Mhaiskar.
Resident doctors at medical colleges will have to also serve at least three months at the periphery hospitals