PMC doubles stipend to attract doctors for Covid care
With earlier calls to invite specialist doctors to join PMC failing to get the desired result, the civic body has doubled their stipend.Updated: Jul 07, 2020 16:03 IST
Even as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to double stipend of specialist doctors who will be recruited, the response is poor as the latter demand insurance cover and definite job profile.
The civic administration’s shortage of critical care infrastructure got a boost when it received 21 ventilators from the PM Cares funds. However, the civic body is facing a shortage of specialist doctors to run the critical care facilities.
With earlier calls to invite specialist doctors to join PMC failing to get the desired result, the civic body has doubled their stipend.
In May, the civic body placed advertisements to invite specialist doctors like intensivist, ICU physician, paediatrician, anaesthetist, resident medical officer, dentist, pharmacist and medical officer (Covid-19 Aayush certificate holder). Few replied to the job offer, forcing PMC to increase payment terms.
On June 29, the civic body published an advertisement to recruit 10 intensivists, 20 physicians, 10 paediatricians and 10 ICU physicians with a starting a salary of Rs 2.25 lakh per month.
The civic body’s recent recruitment drive under the health department is the appointment of over 150 doctors for six months under ‘The Urban Learning Internship Programme’ or TULIP. The civic body published advertisements to hire 50 MBBS at Rs 60,000 per month, 50 BAMS as Rs 40,000 per month and 50 BHMS doctors at Rs 35,000 per month.
Dr Ramchandra Hankare, PMC health officer chief, “For the second round, we compared our offers with the Mumbai civic body, PCMC civic body and the state. We have put forward these advertisements across the country. We hope to get a better response this time. Those working continuously in ICU or Covid wards will be given enough rest if the recruitment drive succeeds.”
Dr Anjali Sabne, officer incharge of recruitment, PMC health department said, “We did not get the desired response to our earlier advertisement and have now doubled the pay offer. We have begun the interview process for specialist doctors from Monday and hope to get more doctors. Those hired will work at Covid care centres and flu clinics and carry out Covid and non-Covid duties.”
Dr Sanjay Patil, vice-president of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Maharashtra chapter said, “The uncertainty of job profile and the time period is a concern among doctors. While specialist doctors want a shorter duration like the one Sassoon hospital offers of 14 days package with 7 days of quarantine, interns require a longer duration which provides job guarantee of at least 6 months. Sassoon hospital offers a package of about 14 days wherein the person gets enough time to rest and recharge and even continue his or her private practice. They have now even started the second round. Another important issue is that while PMC hires a person as a dentist or even as an intensivist, they are often asked to work in Covid-19 ward as a general physician which is what was happening earlier. So, these uncertainties are keeping doctors away from accepting PMC offer.”
Dr Patil said that despite IMA writing to the state government to provide deputation letters and insurance coverage under the PM’s Covid-19 warrior insurance coverage scheme to those being hired on contract, the response is still awaited.
He said, “An official recognition like a deputation letter will also go a long way in encouraging young doctors to work for PMC and open a window of opportunities for young doctors in the near future.”