After Kasturba Gandhi, Hindu Rao docs threaten mass resignation over salaries
The Delhi High Court on Thursday took suo moto cognisance of news reports related to non-payment of salaries to doctors of Hindu Rao and the Kasturba Gandhi hospitals.
Advocate Akhil Mittal, standing counsel for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the nodal agency for all the three civic bodies, confirmed that the court had taken note of the reports and will hear a plea on it on Friday.
Earlier in the day, resident doctors at the North corporation-run Hindu Rao Hospital in Malka Ganj on Thursday threatened to tender mass resignations if pending salaries for four months were not paid by June 18.
Just a day ago, doctors of Kasturba Gandhi Hospital in the walled city had also warned of a similar move if their salaries were not disbursed by June 16.
Calling for mass resignations, the resident doctors’ association of Hindu Rao Hospital said in a letter, “...with every passing day it’s getting very hard and tedious to get through the daily expenses of a lot of doctors. It’s cumbersome to commute to work and earn livelihood. We feel our voices are unheard. We request you to release our pending salaries (not just one month) by June 18...we are helpless to inform you that we are choosing ‘no pay, no work’ rule in order to mark agitation and if issues persist, we might have to take uncalled decision in the form of mass resignations.”
“We have not been given salary since February 2020. Now it’s becoming very hard to manage. We cannot work without pay for long. We can understand one month’s delay at a time of Covid-19 pandemic but it has been four months now and we are yet to get our salaries. We can’t work like this. We will tender mass resignations after June 18 if our pending salaries are not cleared,” Abhimanyu Sardana, president Hindu Rao Hospital Residents’ Doctors Association, said.
Earlier in April and May, Hindu Rao doctors had raised the issue of non-payment of salaries and had threatened to go on strike.
Sardana said it had become a regular feature as salaries were never released on time despite several communications with the hospital and corporation authorities. There are around 250 resident doctors at Hindu Rao, which is north corporation’s largest hospital.
The north corporation runs hospitals such as Hindu Rao, Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases, Kasturba Hospital, Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital and Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis. According to civic officials, the corporation employs around 1,000 senior doctors, 500 resident doctors, and 1,500 nursing officers.
North corporation mayor Avtar Singh said they were in constant touch with doctors and their salaries would be released in a week. “We are trying our best to pay our doctors and teachers. But since our income had been curtailed due to the lockdown and the Delhi government has not yet released our ₹1,500 crore, we are unable to pay the workforce in the hard times of coronavirus pandemic,” the mayor said.
The Delhi government did not respond to requests for a comment.
Jai Prakash, the standing committee chairperson of the north Delhi corporation, said, “We need ₹350 Crore per month to pay salaries in different departments. We are making efforts and we will pay the salaries of our doctors in a week’s time.”