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Unpaid for Months, Unable to Pay Rent: RBIPMT Doctors Go on Strike

Resident Doctors are on strike since 14 October.

Updated
My Report
3 min read

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Video Producer: Maaz Hasan

We, the resident doctors of Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis in Delhi, are on strike from 14 October over the non-payment of salaries since the last four months. Despite approaching various authorities for the last several weeks, from the hospital administration to the Municipal Corporation Of Delhi, state government, and Lieutenant Governor, our salaries haven’t been disbursed.

The decision to strike was a last resort as no one is willing to address our concerns.

“We haven’t received our salaries from the month of July. We have made several complaints to the administration but there is no positive response from anywhere. We have to pay EMIs for our houses, vehicles and there are several other regular expenses.”
Dr Mona Jha, Senior Resident, RBIPMT 
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‘How Do We Survive Without Money?’

The Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis (RBIPMT) is one of the biggest hospitals in the country for pulmonary diseases, so doctors from various parts of the country work here. How do we survive without our salaries?

Moreover, our institute doesn’t have hostel accommodation, so most of us are staying in rented accommodation. How do we pay our rents?

“I come from Rajasthan. I am unable to pay my rent for the past four months. I feel guilty that I am living in Delhi and I am unable to pay my rent for 4 months.”
Dr Insaf Khan, Junior Resident, RBIPMT 

Several doctors from out of Delhi are having the same problem.

“I am from Kerala and I have no relatives and family members here. I am living in a rented apartment. I have an education loan and a personal loan at my native place also. All these have to be paid with my salary. But I haven’t received any payment from here.”
Dr Ashwathy, Junior Resident, RBIPMT

‘Why New Doctors Were Hired When Existing Ones Aren’t Paid?’

One would assume that if the MCD-run hospital didn’t have money to pay their existing staff, it wouldn’t hire more staff. But the hospital floated the advertisement of vacancies for Resident Doctors.

“I joined just two months ago as a Senior Resident Doctor. In fact, it has been over two months and I haven’t received a single penny from here. I am unable to understand, when they didn’t have money to pay four months of salary why did they hire me two months ago?”
Dr Akshat Gupta, Senior Resident, RBIPMT

‘Authorities Turning Blind Eye Towards Us’

We have written several letters to the director of our institute and the MCD. In fact, a delegation of Resident Doctors went to meet the Lieutenant Governor also. They were made to wait at the LG’s office for four hours but the LG didn’t meet them.

The letter to MCD by the Resident Doctors of RBIPMT 
The letter to MCD by the Resident Doctors of RBIPMT 
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Despite several requests, we haven’t got our salaries.

When we say this to them, they say the central government has not released funds. The central government says that the Delhi government is responsible. Delhi government says MCD isn’t auditing funds. Everyone is passing the buck.

We are putting ourselves at risk. If we ourselves don’t have money for basic necessities and we fall ill, who will bear the cost of our treatment? They won’t pay for our treatment. Who will be responsible for it?

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MCD’s Response To The Quint

Jai Prakash, Mayor, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (North), told The Quint:

“We are under a severe financial crisis. Rs 1,600 cr has to be paid to us by the Delhi government and they haven’t released that fund. Our own revenue, which we used to earn from taxes, advertising etc, shrunk to around 25 percent because of the lockdown. We have asked the doctors to wait for 15-20 days. We will find a solution to this.”

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