North Delhi corporation blames Govt. for pending salaries of health workers

Two days after the Municipal Corporation Doctor’s Association (MCDA) wrote a letter on pending salaries of health workers under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, its standing committee chairman Jogi Ram Jain on Friday said the reason behind the delayed payments was a financial crisis “caused by the Delhi Government not allocating pending municipal funds”.

In the letter — written to higher officials at the Centre, Delhi Government and the North civic body — the MCDA said that while a previously held strike by health workers in March was called off after a written assurance from the North Delhi civic body commissioner promising their salaries, the civic body “has failed to honour the agreement. Hence, we are free to call for [a] strike of doctors”.

Dr. Maruti Sinha, general secretary, MCDA, said the non-payment of salaries and previous dues have been a “recurring issue since 2015”.

“Every year, we have to protest to get our salaries. Our daily allowance was revised in January and July, but it has not been implemented since January. There are arrears which haven’t been paid to us since 2016. If the North MCD does not have the funds to handle health services, then it should be handed to either the Centre or the Delhi Government, but the civic body does not want to pay or hand over responsibility,” said Dr. Sinha.

North MCD Commissioner, Sanjay Goel, said, “We have paid salaries of junior and senior doctors for September and we are trying our best to pay the rest. Everybody, including engineers and clerical staff, are suffering from salary delays. 97% of the civic body’s budget goes in paying expenses like salaries, pensions, provident fund and terminal benefit.”

Hospitals falling under the North MCD include Hindu Rao, Kasturba hospital and Girdhari Lal Maternity hospital.

Resident doctors and nurses of Hindu Rao Hospital are currently on a half-day strike. Dr Tanuraj Tyagi, president of the hospital’s Resident Doctors’ Association, said that the half-day strikes will continue till November 20, after which a “larger strike” will be planned.

“Our salary has been delayed since the last three months and our DA has also been due since the last five months. We are planning for a bigger strike on Monday,” said Dr. Tyagi.

Delhi is witnessing a surge in cases of dengue with over 5,000 cases and 9 deaths recorded this season.

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