This is How Delhi is Dealing with the Pandemic. By Not Paying Doctors for 3 Months


This is How Delhi is Dealing with the Pandemic. By Not Paying Doctors for 3 Months

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on doctors and healthcare professionals across the country, who have had to put themselves on the frontlines of the fight, while working long hours with little access to protective gear.

But at four hospitals and 17 polyclinics in Delhi — from where according to recent reports, doctors are threatening to resign en masse — the sacrifices of our healthcare workers apparently haven’t even been rewarded with basic salaries.

The doctors from a number of hospitals under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi have said that it has been three months since they were last paid, and that many of them were now struggling to pay up rent, purchase essential supplies, or even commute to work.

The Residents’ Doctors Association at Kasturba Hospital has said that its doctors were considering tendering mass resignations — only because it wasn’t the right time to go on strike, considering the pandemic.

“We are afraid that if we won’t be paid by June 16 we will have to move for mass resignation. We hope the concerned authorities will take immediate action and take our notice on priority to resolve our issue within time,” a letter issued by the body read.

Similar claims were made by doctors of three other MCD-run hospitals, as well as a number of polyclinics, drawing the ire of people from across the country who demanded that medical workers be paid as soon as possible.

Journalist Faye D’souza called the situation a complete failure of administration.

To make matters worse, this isn’t the first time doctors who work under the MCD have raised the issue. A month ago, the doctors had said in a letter to the Prime Minister that the lack of salaries was leaving them “in dire economic distress”.

As we quickly approach the date by which the healthcare professionals have now demanded their salaries, there will no doubt be a scuffle over which government isn’t releasing the money. Let’s just hope they don’t eventually decide to shower the doctors with petals instead.