On enquiring, they were told they would not get any incentive for the quarantine period, but the doctors have called the move unfair as it is a mandatory part of their rotational duty.
Resident doctors have been working long hours and playing a key role in this crisis. They have been wearing PPEs and other equipment which does not allow them to have food or water for hours while they’re at work. It is highly odd and unjust that they are not being paid their incentive for the period of their quarantine. Those, too, are their duty hours, and robbing them of their incentive amount for those hours smacks of an unprofessional approach.
At Nair Hospital, doctors work for seven days followed by seven days in quarantine.
Incentives only for days worked, not period of quarantine: Admin
Resident doctors termed it ‘unfair’ that the BMC has deducted incentives for the days they were in quarantine. At Sion, they follow a 9-6-9 duty chart. Agitated with BMC, a few representatives met Directorate of Medical Education & Research head T P Lahane on Thursday.
While resident doctors at Nair Hospital got their monthly stipends on Thursday, those at Sion and KEM hospitals are yet to get theirs. The stipend and incentive policy for all civic hospitals, however, is the same.
A doctor at Nair told TOI that they got 100% incentive with stipends for May (disbursed in June). In April the quarantine policy was not clear, so doctors got the full sum. “This month, we got only stipends, not a penny as incentive. The administration told us that incentives are only for days we worked, not for days in quarantine. Since incentive for June was adjusted in May, we did not get anything this month,” said the doctor, calling it unfair.
“On the one hand, they call us Covid warriors, on the other they are meting out this treatment to us. We’re working continuously for over three months. Now, they are citing technical conditions in the circular that say incentive will be given only for days we reported for duty. This, when the quarantine period is an inclusive part of our rota,” said a representative of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors. “Such administrative decisions are demoralising us.”
Another doctor said not following quarantine period will put non-Covid patients at risk. “Some of us have suffered permanent damage to lungs due to the infection. I don’t know why the BMC is so insensitive,” said the doctor.
Lahane told TOI that the doctors met him. “Quarantine period is part of their Covid duty. I have forwarded their letter to BMC and recommended full disbursal of incentives. Hopefully, BMC will do the needful,” he said.
The dean of a civic hospital said that he is not sure why the decision was taken, but said he would look into it.
Doctors are upset over tax deduction from stipend and incentive in BMC colleges. Also, the government has not accepted their demands to hike stipends for two years.