Salary Delay, Lack of Incentives, Job Loss: Tamil Nadu Contractual Doctors in dilemma
Chennai: After being appointed by the State Government for COVID duty amidst the peak of the second wave of the pandemic, several doctors in Tamil Nadu are facing troubles in getting their salaries on time. In fact, some of the doctors have been terminated from their jobs without settling the salaries.
According to The New Indian Express, the salaries of the doctors are getting delayed by 15 to 20 days every month and the doctors are doing their jobs without getting paid for the same. Some of the doctors have claimed that they aren't getting incentives or even holidays as well.
On top of everything, these posts are contractual, and many of the doctors were roped in after the students completed their MBBS degrees. Many of the students had allegedly didn't opt for postgraduate studies with the hope that they would be offered permanent positions.
Already these doctors have informed the Chief Minister's cell regarding the matter and raised a complaint on the issue.
As per the latest media report by the New Indian Express, the situation is exceptionally grave in Tiruppur corporation, where five doctors working under the civic body have been sacked within just 100 days. Besides, many doctors employed under the municipal corporation have alleged that they haven't received their joining letter, experience certificate or relieving letter.
While commenting on the matter, an MBBS doctor told the daily, "I joined on May 24 and we didn't receive our salaries for three months, till August 31. Later, corporation health officials said we could leave the job and get the salary after that."
"We never got a joining letter, experience certificate or relieving letter. We worked for 100 days and they owe us around Rs 1.8 lakh in salary, but have given only Rs 55,000 so far," he added.
Even though the doctors were appointed for a six-month period for Rs 80000 per month, many of the doctors have been sacked midway. One such doctor told the daily that she received only a month's salary and said, "Another Rs 1 lakh is due."
Outside Tiruppur the situation isn't good as well. One such doctor who is working in Thanjavur district and working in the team posted at mini-clinics, triage centres, and vaccination camps said, "Even last month, there was a delay of 15 to 20 days. We are not sure when our salary will be processed. As of Friday, I am continuing to work without being paid."
"My centre is located about 90 km from my house. I had to wake up at 4 am last Sunday for the mega vaccination camp. I have been on Covid duty since May and that month's salary came only by the end of June," he added.
Another doctor posted at a mini-clinic in Tiruchy added that they are looking for a holiday and further mentioned, "Incentives, too, haven't reached us."
Mentioning that they let go of their post-graduation dreams, another doctor added, "The government can at least make us permanent staff. We did not apply for the PG entrance exams as this is a government job and we were serving people during the second wave."
Speaking to the daily regarding the situation, Dr. Shanthi AR, the secretary of the Doctor's Association for Social Equality said, "The case of salary delay was there in Chennai, too, but it wasn't an issue for a few doctors as they left the job mid-way and went to pursue postgraduate courses. But the ones suffering are those, who stayed put at the job, hoping it would provide them a decent salary and experience.
Meanwhile, a health official has informed the daily that they have directed the concerned departments so that the problem can be solved at the earliest. The official added, "The issue is being addressed as it is our duty to pay the doctors. Salaries have been rolled out to most of them and we have again intimated the concerned departments to address the issue."