Unpaid and Unheard: Story of Hundreds of Healthcare Workers Treating Covid-19 Patients in Delhi

Sneha Mordani
·2-min read

The Supreme Court has intervened saying that the country cannot afford to have "dissatisfied soldiers in the war against the pandemic". Walk an extra mile to pay them, said the top court. But are we doing so?

Clearly no. Doctors in Delhi, working in hospitals, have taken to social media to post videos of their ordeal. They say they have been on a 'pen down strike' but emergency services continue.

North MCD doctors and staff have not received their salaries since June, says a letter written by Dr Abhimanyu Sardana, President of the Resident Doctors Association. Dr Sardana has written to the Delhi Chief Minister, Mayor, North MCD and Additional Commissioner - North MCD.

Dr Sardana told News18 that they have been told that funds have depleted and that the doctors must approach higher authorities. This is not just violation of the human rights of doctors treating Covid-19 patients but also contempt of Court. The North MCD employs at least 1,000 senior doctors, 500 resident doctors, and 1,500 nursing officers. Doctors and Nurses of Hindu Rao, Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases, Kasturba Hospital, Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital and Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis have been protesting over non-payment of dues.

Resident doctors say the salaries have not been paid since June, roughly for 105 days. "Doctors on COVID duty without pay from 105 Days. Govt neither have data of deaths of healthcare workers nor have money to pay their services. Though pay deduction for PMCARE funds was done without delay. Healthcare workers across India are feeling betrayed said Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti​ Former President of AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) on Twitter.

Staff of Delhi's Kasturba Gandhi hospital have also been on a strike for the last 10 days since their dues have not been paid from July onwards.

Meanwhile, doctors have also been protesting against the assault on Dr Rahul Jain of Maharishi Valmiki Hospital on the 26th of September. He was allegedly assaulted by attendants of a patient because he asked the patient to wear and mask and come by turn. RDA's of various hospitals in Delhi have demanded action and expressed solidarity with the doctors. Doctors of Maharishi Valmiki Hospital withdrawing essential services and non essential services in protest.