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Telangana: Second wave warriors not paid stipend for 4 months

According to the doctors, nearly 1,200 of them have not been paid for the period from May to August, 2021, despite having rendered their services at the critical time.

Published: 02nd December 2021 08:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2021 08:24 AM   |  A+A-

A healthcare worker collects swab sample of a man for Covid testing.

A healthcare worker collects swab sample of a man for Covid testing. (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: COVID-19 warriors, who risked their lives to save many other lives during the second wave of Covid-19, are now knocking on doors for their wages. The issue has been boiling over for the 2018 post-graduate doctors’ batch, who were in their final year of medicine when the second wave hit the State in 2021.

According to the doctors, nearly 1,200 of them have not been paid for the period from May to August, 2021, despite having rendered their services at the critical time. They claim that the government owes wages of nearly Rs 3 lakh to each of these doctors for the four-month period.

The issue has resulted because of administrative lapses. “The 2018 batch’s bond that they would work in government hospitals expired on April 30, 2021, after which they are not PG students anymore. Because the pandemic happened, their exams were pushed and a memo was issued by the Health Secretary which stated that the batch will be paid stipend on par with senior residents from June 1,” explained Dr. N Kartik, general secretary, TJUDA.

The memo clearly stated that from June 1, students of the 2018 MD/MS batch and 2019 diploma batch will be paid Rs 80,500 till they completed their final post-graduate exams. However, despite their exams finishing on August 13, the stipends for the four-month period have not arrived.

“Our seniors are left in the lurch as we have been informed that no budget allocations have been made to provide for them. TJUDA is routinely following up on it but nothing has come of it.  “Another concern is that the memo was issued from June 1, but all doctors were relieved of the PG bond on April 31, making them work without pay for a month in May. Many of them gave their all to work during the peak of the pandemic, and now they are unpaid,” rued Dr Kartik, who is closely monitoring the issue.

Another reason for the delay in payments to the doctors is the complicated network of ‘steps’ the hospital has to deploy to pay senior residents and PG students, with both of them being approved by two different authorities. 

Dr. Manikiran Reddy, TJUDA representative from Gandhi Hospital, said, “While post-graduate students’ stipends are processed by the respective college’s principal, the stipend of senior residents is processed by the hospital Superintendent, who in turn has to prepare these bills every month and get sanction of budget, which often gets held up with the Finance Department. All in all, all junior doctors — be it in UG, PG or senior residency, are not paid on time, with there being a minimum delay of two months.” However, Director of Medical Education Dr. K Ramesh Reddy played down the issue, and even said funds were not a problem. 

“The funds have been released from the DME’s office and many colleges have even cleared the dues,” Dr. Reddy said. The issue persists only for a few colleges, where attendance has been an issue as some exams happened earlier than others, leading to delays, he added. 



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