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RIMS doctors have not been paid salary for the past two months

RANCHI: Life has become difficult for around 700 doctors of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). Many of them have taken car and home loans but they do not have the money to pay the equated monthly instalments (EMIs). The creditors are harassing them for the money. The doctors have not been paid salary for the past two months.

"We are exclusively dependent on the salary we get from the hospital after 30 days of hard work. As we used to get regular salary, we did not think twice before taking the loans. Now the EMI collectors are after us," said a doctor who joined the hospital two years ago.

Recently a group of doctors, under the banner of RIMS Doctors-Teachers' Association (RDTA), called upon RIMS director Tulsi Mahto to register their grievance. They even threatened the hospital management that they would stop working if they were not paid regularly.

"All the doctors are disappointed. We have been intimating the management about the issue for the past few weeks but to no avail," said Dr Prabhat Kumar, RDTA secretary. The move has come at a time when the number of patients at the RIMS has increased manifold because of rising temperature in the state. In normal times too, the hospital remains crowded as there is a shortage of doctors.

Members of the RDTA had formally registered their grievance on May 21. It has been over a week but the fate of the doctors still looks uncertain. "The senior doctors who are established in their profession can manage a month or two without salary but what about the junior doctors?" asked senior doctor J K Mitra.

Those suffering include 300 junior doctors, assistant professors, associate professors, professors and resident doctors. The doctors are dependent solely on salaries as they are not allowed to practise outside. All of them are without pay since April.

S N Chaudhary, the RDTA president, said the RIMS administration was not considering the issue (salary of doctors) on a priority basis. The state government has allotted funds for salaries to the doctors. But still doctors are not getting the salary as the issue of non-practicing allowance (NPA) has come up. "With the allotment of funds, a directive has come from the government that NPA is not to be given from this funds," said an RDTA member. NPA applies to all posts for doctors at RIMS and it is for the first time that NPA has been denied to the doctors.

"Rules (for the RIMS) of the state government are yet to be made and RIMS's own rules and regulations are also not specific. In such a scenario how can such a decision be taken," asked Chaudhary. RDTA members are planning to meet Jharkhand health minister Hemlal Murmu and principal secretary K Vidyasagar.

The doctors are ready to settle the NPA issue later but demand immediate payment of salaries. "The management should at least pay our salary," a doctor demanded.

RIMS director Tulsi Mahto refused comment on the issue. "The matter is under consideration and it will be sorted out on a priority basis," he said. source-timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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