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Mumbai resident doctors start social media campaign over non-payment of arrears

India Today logo India Today 07-05-2021 Mustafa Shaikh
a group of people standing in front of a store: Mumbai resident doctors start social media campaign over non-payment of arrears Mumbai resident doctors start social media campaign over non-payment of arrears

Resident doctors from four civic hospitals on Covid-19 duty in Mumbai have started a social media campaign over non-payment of stipend arrears. The resident doctors have threatened to go on a hunger strike while continuing their Covid-19 duty if the dues are not paid to them.

The doctors started the social media campaign after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asked the doctors to consider the incentive received for Covid-19 duty last year as their stipend.

According to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), their hike in the stipend to the amount of Rs 10,000 per month has been pending since May 2020. Maharashtra government had issued an order for the payment of stipends in September last year. Accordingly, the BMC had issued a circular in January 2021 for the payment of the dues. The resident doctors said that they are yet to receive this stipend, which amounts to Rs 1.2 lakh for each doctor.

CAMPAIGN TRENDS WITH #BMCbetrayedus AND #BetrayedStillWorking

The doctors started a social media campaign on Friday after the administration's decision to adjust the stipend arrears against the money given for Covid-19 duty last year. The campaign is trending on Twitter with hashtags #BMCbetrayedus and #BetrayedStillWorking.

"BMC has asked us to adjust the incentive paid for Covid duty last year against the stipend. This is not what was decided. Resident doctors have been paid by the Centre for Covid duty last year all around the country. If we are not paid our dues, we will go on hunger strike while continuing our duty. We will paste a tag on the PPE kit that we are on hunger strike," said Arun Ghule, president, MARD, Mumbai.

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Another resident doctor, Akash, said, "We do not want to stop our services to Covid- 19 patients. We are hoping and trying that it does not come to that. We are putting up posters in the hospital, making our voices heard as we continue to do our work."

The incentive of Rs 10,000 was paid to the resident doctors on Covid-19 duty from May 2020 to December 2020. This incentive was discontinued after the Covid-19 cases came down.

One of the resident doctors, Dr Deepak Mundhe tweeted "BMC announced Rs 10k incentive last year and now ask to consider incentives as hike which was due from Aug 18." He added, "No Academics from 2 years still

@mybmcextorted Rs 2 Lakh tuition fees from these hardworking resident doctors in this pandemic for the online lectures which never happened in reality."

Suresh Kakani, additional Municipal commissioner (health), remained unavailable for comments.

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