Super speciality doctors and staff members at the Kalaignar Centenary Super Speciality Hospital (KCSSH) in Tamil Nadu are yet to receive their salaries, almost three-and-a-half months after the hospital’s inauguration. While hospital authorities attribute the delay to the lengthy process of mapping employees who migrated from various hospitals to the new facility, some doctors argue that a three-month delay is unacceptable.
The KCSSH, a 1,000-bed facility located in Guindy, was inaugurated by the Chief Minister on June 15. Doctors who were transferred to the hospital through a special online counselling session were instructed to join duty the following day, including those from hospitals in different districts.
Although some doctors expected a delay in salary payment, they were ready to manage for only a month. However, they have not received their salaries even after three months. The doctors express concern over their financial obligations, including house rent, loan payments, medical and household expenses, and children’s education. They question how they can manage without salaries and feel frustrated by the hospital administration’s continuous excuses and indications of further delays.
According to several doctors, the delay is primarily due to the processing involved in the Integrated Financial and Human Resources Management System (IFHRMS), which includes the provision of a Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO) Code. This process aims to consolidate the details of staff members from various parts of the state, but it has been three months, and the code has still not been provided, which the doctors find unacceptable.
Moreover, the hospital is receiving a higher influx of patients than expected, with people from districts such as Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai seeking treatment. The doctors emphasize the need for additional staff nurses at the hospital, asserting that creating infrastructure alone is not sufficient; the government must ensure adequate manpower to meet the demands.
Sources claim that funds for paying the staff recruited on a contract basis, such as technicians, have not been released yet. They call on the state government to intervene and resolve the issues faced by healthcare professionals at the hospital.
Hospital authorities mention that doctors and staff nurses migrated from various hospitals to the KCSSH. Unlike the previous manual processing system, the new digitized system through IFHRMS maps all employees for a single entry and provides a code, which takes approximately two to three months to process. The authorities stated that they had informed staff members about the delay in payment during their appointment. They assure that the process has now been completed, and the code will be released soon. Once the code is provided, the salary processing will be initiated and settled by the end of the month.
The delay in salary payment at the KCSSH highlights the challenges faced by healthcare professionals in obtaining their rightful compensation. It is crucial for the authorities and the government to address these issues promptly and ensure that healthcare workers receive their salaries on time. Providing adequate financial support and resolving any existing administrative hurdles will not only motivate the professionals but also ensure the efficient functioning of the hospital in delivering timely healthcare services to the people.