Working without payment since lockdown, resident doctors threaten to resign en masse

Kasturba Hospital, started in 1905, is now one of the largest of its kind in the country, it  is under the Bharatiya Janata Party-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation 

Kasturba Hospital
Image Courtesy: Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy / The Hindu

One of the worst cases of horrific treatment of medical professionals, at the forefront of combating the rising cases of Covid-19 in Delhi have been exposed by the resident doctors of Kasturba Hospital. resident doctors allege that they have not been paid salaries for the past three months, and will now submit mass resignations unless their dues are cleared.

The hospital is under the Bharatiya Janata Party-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation, and the issue has been long pending. The doctors alleged that they have not received salaries since March, even as they worked long hours during the national lockdown. Their workload is only increasing as the lockdown winds up and cases of Coronavirus rise in the city.

Kasturba Hospital, started in 1905, is now one of the largest of its kind in the country, it claims it is one of the largest in Asia. It is also one of the most strategically located in the walled city area, close to Delhi’s Jama Masjid and has been the go-to for women and children seeking medical care. It is still locally known as the ‘Victoria Zenana Hospital’ even though it was renamed Kasturba Hospital in 1975. Once it was also known as the Machliwa Hospital, as the road had led to the wholesale fish market, which was moved out many years ago. Since then the hospital has grown to be well known for its maternity services and according to its website it has 350 beds exclusively for Gynae and Obstt and a delivery rate of 12000 per year.

This is also an example of the massive workload that is handled by the doctors here. Today, the doctors allege they are yet to be paid their due and that merely calling them ‘corona warriors’ does not help. According to news agency ANI, Dr Sunil Kumar, president of Resident Doctors’ Association of Kasturba Hospital has alleged that:

“All resident doctors of the hospital have not received their salaries for the last three months (March, April and May). As this is not the right time to go on a strike, we have decided to tender mass resignations. We have not stopped giving our services. If the hospital is not able to give us salaries, then we would like to give our services in other hospitals.”



“People are hailing us as ‘corona warriors’, clapping for us. It is a good thing that people respect us. But I want to ask, is this way to respect us? We want our salaries. I want people to know that in Delhi doctors are not getting salaries,” he added. It is also reported that many of the hospital’s doctors and staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Reports of basic needs medical staff being neglected have been coming in a steady flow from across the city for months now. Medics have written letters to authorities at all levels, and even protested lacks of facilities, long working hours, quality of PPEs, and now non payment of salaries, at various hospitals, including at the Centre-run All India Institute of Medical sciences, the Delhi-govt run LNJP hospital, municipal hospital Hindu Rao, and now Kasturba hospital.

The doctors here have given a deadline of June 16 and have written to the authorities, If their dues are not cleared by then, they will resign en masse. “We can not work without money. Being the frontline workers, we should be paid our pending salaries as soon as possible and should be ensured a regular salary payout. We are afraid that if we aren’t paid by 16 June, we will have to move for mass resignation,” the letter states.

An official response to the doctors’ complain is awaited.



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