At least 40 doctors from Kerala who had come to Mumbai to help the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation medical staff in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic will be returning back home as the BMC has not yet paid their salaries.
While 15 of them have already left for Kerala the remaining 25 returned back to their state on Thursday.
Four nurses of the 35 from Kerala, who had joined Seven Hills hospital last month, too, have not received their salary from the BMC.
“All 40 doctors who came to Mumbai have not been paid. They were supposed to work for two months. Fifteen of them decided to return home last week due to salary issues,” said a doctor associated with the South Asia chapter of Doctors Without Borders.
Nearly 40 doctors and 35 nurses from Kerala had come to Mumbai to volunteer help BMC in its effort to fight COVID-19. All doctors who had come to help the medical staff in Mumbai were working in the private sector back home (Kerala) and have volunteered to assist their fraternity members in the city.
The BMC had committed a salary of Rs 2 lakh for specialist doctors, Rs 80,000 for MBBS doctors and Rs 35,000 for nurses, along with travel allowances.
Over the past few days the doctors complained that they were not paid salaries and the BMC was not reimbursing them for their travel expenses.
The nurses employed at Seven Hills Hospital management had received salaries, but the ones posted by BMC in the hospital were yet to be paid, said an official from the United Nurses Association (UNA).
The doctors have claimed that the BMC had been postponing the payment dates. The BMC initially promised to pay by July 5, then postponed it to July 10 and finally to July 13. “The salaries have not come even today,” said Dr Santosh Kumar Wednesday.
An official from BMC said the salaries will be credited soon in their bank accounts. “The file is on the move,” an official said.