Delhi’s Urban Development (UD) Department on Monday wrote a letter to the three municipal corporations asking them to consider handing over their hospitals to the Delhi government if they are unable to pay salaries of staff or are facing difficulties in running the institutes.

The Department, in a letter addressing the Commissioners of the civic bodies, raised concerns regarding the non-payment of salaries, wages and other dues to the doctors, medical, paramedical and other staff working in the Hindu Rao and Kasturba Hospital under the North body.

The letter said civic bodies should “expeditiously” clear the salaries of the medical staff and in case they are unable to do so, they must consider handing over their hospitals to the Delhi government.

“Resident doctors’ association of the above-mentioned hospitals have threatened to go on strike if their dues are not cleared on time. The civic bodies have failed to meet the deadlines. The situation has led to inconvenience and improper treatment to COVID-19 patients,” said UD Minister Satyendar Jain.

“It is evident that the civic bodies are finding difficulty in proper running management of their hospitals, which has led anguish among doctors and paramedical staff and inconvenience to patients’ relatives/citizens of Delhi during ongoing pandemic and treatment of non-COVID-19 ailments,” he added.

The letter also stated: “Serious concerns have been raised regarding non-payment of salaries/wages/other dues to the medical, paramedical and other staff working in Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and other hospitals of civic bodies. It has been mentioned that inability to pay the salaries and other dues in time has led to a situation where proper treatment to COVID-19 patients is not being given and they are forced to shift from Hindu Rao Hospital to Lok Nayak Hospital of GNCTD for a continuum of medical care.”

Under the recommendations of the 5th Delhi Finance Commission, the letter stated, the first and second installments of Basic Tax Assignment (BTA) by the UD Department and Grant-in-aid (GIA) by Health and Education Departments have already been released to the DMCs by Delhi Government for Financial Year 2020-21.

Apart from these released amounts, it also stated, the DMCs have their own sources of revenue generation and thus have to ensure sufficient provisioning of funds to pay the salaries for the frontline health workers in DMC hospitals during the pandemic.

The letter asked the civic bodies to submit a report in this regard to Mr. Jain.

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