COVID-19 Pune: Doctor contracts virus while serving patients; complains of non-payment of salary for two months

COVID-19 Pune: Doctor contracts virus while serving patients; complains of non-payment of salary for two months

Pune: A doctor from Pune, who worked at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Baj RR COVID Hospital in Dombivli for two months, has complained of non-payment of salary and sudden termination of service by the management of the private hospital.

While permanent doctors and nurses are getting their salaries promptly on the first of every month, contractual doctors, nurses and even Class 4 employees are getting their salaries after a delay of several days. The doctor, who recently tested positive for OCIVD-19 has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Ulhasnagar for the last eight days.

In a letter to Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) commissioner Vijay Suryavanshi, he stated, "I joined on May 3 at the COVID hospital in Dombivli and was terminated on June 28 without any prior notice. They also assured to pay the salary of two months by July 15, but there was no further communication. When I asked the hospital management, they threatened to cancel my medical registration."

The 32-year-old, who previously worked in a hospital in Pune as a casualty doctor, joined Baj RR Hospital for three months on a contractual basis that assured a salary of ₹55,000 per month. He moved from Pune to Dombivli to join the hospital and has treated around 40 COVID-positive patients. However, he tested positive for COVID-19 on July 14 as reported by Hindustan Times.

"I am sure the hospital got my replacement for a lesser salary and hence they removed me. It's not just me; there is another doctor and two ward boys who are not paid. I am admitted to a hospital now and if the salary is not paid how am I supposed to pay my bills. I have mailed a letter with my complaint to the KDMC chief as I am helpless," he said while speaking to Hindustan Times.

Another doctor, Pawan Saini, 28, who left the work at Baj RR Hospital on June 30, also complained of non-payment of salary. "I left the job due to personal reasons and my two months' salary is pending. They had agreed to pay me on July 15, but now there is no communication. I don't understand why my payment is held," said Saini who worked at the hospital at the ward since January.

When asked, Bharat Tiwari, chief executive officer of the hospital, said, "He [the doctor from Pune] was warned thrice before the termination as he fought with staffers and was also caught eating inside the ICU. As his salary was delayed, I received threatening calls from random people in the past few days. Hence, I decided to hold the salary."

"The other doctor has also ganged up with him. Unless he gives me a written apology, we will not pay him," concluded Tiwari. The doctor, however, negated the accusations saying, "These are false allegations. I was terminated without any valid reason."

Commissioner Suryavanshi did not respond to calls, while KDMC health officer Dr Pratibha Panpatil claimed that she had no clue of the complaint.

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