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Can’t pay stipends till June: DMER to resident docs in Maharashtra

At a recent meeting, doctors were told that DMER failed to make payments due to administrative glitches

mumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2019 23:25 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Resident doctors Maharashtra
Resident doctors at some government medical colleges are still awaiting their payments(HT Photo)

Resident doctors at four medical colleges across Maharashtra have not received their stipends for the last three months and may have to wait much longer for their dues. The medical education department is blaming the code of conduct for its inability to release funds for salaries.

Over 1,000 resident doctors in government medical colleges of Nagpur, Ambejogai, Akola and Latur have been facing severe irregularities in payments for the past six to seven months. Members of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), a group of over 4,400 resident doctors across the state, said that despite assurances by the state medical education department during a meeting on January 1, little has been done to resolve the issue.

At a recent meeting with the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), doctors were told that DMER failed to make payments due to administrative glitches. Officials claimed that due to the code of conduct which is in force for Lok Sabha elections, the payments would only be made in June.

“This will mean we have to go six months without payments. Most of us are married and many amongst us belong to lower-middle class families where we are the sole earning members. Being the backbone of government medical facilities, we work over 17-18 hours at a stretch and yet do not get paid for half the year,” said Dr Kalyani Dongre, president, MARD (central).

DMER officials said the problem has arisen due to additional postgraduation seats which did not have administrative approval. “Due to this, we fell short of money to pay the additional resident doctors who resumed work. We have used all possible additional funds and even applied to the state government for help. However, until the code of conduct concludes, the funds will not be released,” said Dr TP Lahane, director, DMER. He added that they will make payments for the month of April, with the help of funds which will be released on March 31.

Doctors, however, are not accepting DMER’s excuses and have cited lack of coordination among the ministerial departments as the cause of the issue. “We are being taken for granted and if the issue is not resolved, we may go on a statewide agitation for our rights,” said Dr Dongre.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 23:24 IST