Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doctors resign over payment

Fadli , The Jakarta Post , Batam | Tue, 03/02/2010 2:17 PM | The Archipelago

Seventeen of the 22 doctors working at the state hospital in Karimun regency hospital, Riau Islands, have reportedly resigned, citing they had yet to receive welfare fees from the Karimun regency administration.

The doctors tendered their resignation on Feb. 24, although the news was leaked to the press Monday. The Riau Islands police office has sent four doctors to the hospital to address the staff shortage.

The doctors' resignation was triggered by the administration office's failure to pay their medical service allowances as part of the employee welfare package. The doctors have demanded the regency administration replace the hospital management.

Medical team chairman Ridwan Abdullah told The Jakarta Post on Monday that the resignation was the last option chosen by the doctors after the hospital management and Karimun administration office had failed to address their complains about the allowance.

Until their resignation, the doctors had not received the allowances due to the sluggish process of funds disbursement.

"We were also concerned about the condition of medical equipment at the hospital, such as grubby surger wear," said gynecologist Ridwan.

"We asked the hospital to replace them but to no avail. The budget for the hospital is substantial, but it could not fulfill the basic demand. We eventually decided to quit."

The resignees are made up of eight specialists, two dentists and seven general practitioners. Their resignation, said Ridwan, had affected services, especially those for the low-income patients reliant on health insurance.

"Our struggle apparently needs sacrifices. We also wish people to know that we also need attention. People outside might see consider our lives to be comfortable, but that's not the case," he said.

"That's one of the reasons why the regency administration has cited that doctors can seek additional sources of income from other places, so much so that our rights are being deprived. That's definitely wrong."

Ridwan said a team from the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) and its Riau Islands' chapter is currently mediating with the Karimun regency administration to discuss the issue. "If our demands are not met, we will resign and seek other places to practice."

Karimun Regent Nurdin Basirun said the demands from the doctors were unreasonable. He deemed the doctors to be impatient with the regency administration's efforts to improve the hospital management.

"Let them just quit. Their demands are beyond the limit. We will look for other doctors."

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