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Karnataka Doctors Seek Cure for Lack of Pay

Karnataka Doctors Seek Cure for Lack of Pay

Months after being recruited through an online bidding process, contract doctors in government hospitals across the karnataka  State are bearing the brunt of an inordinate delay in handing over their wages. While the government had offered competitive pay packages, in reality the doctors have not seen their complete wages till now.

After working for close to five months without any pay, the doctors received a part of their basic pay recently. As on date, several are yet to receive the basic pay for at least two months. None of them have been given the incentives which are part of their pay package.

Online bidding

This July, the Karnataka government introduced online bidding for various vacancies in government hospitals where the doctors could quote the salaries they deemed fit for their work. This was an attempt by the State government to fill the huge number of vacancies for doctors in government hospitals, as it was otherwise finding no takers for these jobs.

The government received 5,916 applications out of which 351 doctors were recruited. There are still over 1,000 vacancies for specialist doctors across the state.

A specialist doctor in Bagalkote said they had not received salaries for the past four months. About a fortnight ago, they received the pay for the first two months of work. “We are still waiting for the salary of the other two months. In the case of this doctor, the performance-based incentives added up to ₹70,000 every month with the basic pay fixed at ₹ 1.3 lakh.

This was corroborated by another doctor in Kalaburagi, who too had not received his salary.

‘No clarity on incentives’

The doctors expressed their inability to meet the parameters for performance-based incentives as their job profile was not clearly defined. “Even though I am not a forensic expert, I am conducting post-mortems and giving forensic reports. If my performance is analysed based on the number of cases I have attended to in my area of expertise, obviously my performance report would not look good,” one of the doctors explained.

‘Processing delay’

One of the District Health Officers (DHO) told The Hindu that the salaries are in the process of being disbursed. “There has been a lot of confusion as the salaries differ from doctor to doctor depending on the amount they had bid. It takes a while to process these salaries. Hence the delay,” he said.

As for incentives, he said the doctors had to submit their report on the number of cases they had attended to, in order to be able to get the incentives. “Attending cases across different areas of specialisation is something that all doctors do, as we do not have sufficient staff. If for any reason, these doctors have not attended to cases related to their area of expertise, they need to approach us and explain the same to us,” he added.

Ajay Seth, Additional Chief Secretary in the Health and Family Welfare Services Department, said there is no fund crunch and the government has adequate money to pay the doctors. He said he would co-ordinate with the district officials and inquire into the issue.

Source: The Hinduhttp://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/doctors-seek-cure-for-lack-of-pay/article21910409.ece?homepage=true

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