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Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has urged the hospital administration to reconsider one-day salary deduction of staff to donate to the PM-CARES fund.
"Either make the donation opt-in or reject it altogether. Instead, the local donation from AIIMS should be directed towards procuring health gear and PPEs," India Today quoted the doctors as saying.
According to General Secretary of AIIMS RDA, Srinivas Rajkumar T, majority of doctors want to exercise choice of further donation and they have already donated on a personal level. The RDA represents around 2500 doctors.
"We are working on the frontline to save our country. Majority of us have donated on a personal level and want to exercise the choice of further donation. We will continue to work till our last breath, but, a major pandemic or even a national emergency can't be the reason to curb the rights of people, more particularly health care staff," Rajkumar said.
"CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] funds are also going to the PM-CARES Fund. The entire country is donating to that host of charity. It would be better if our local donation is directly used for procuring more and better PPEs and protective gear for healthcare staff across the country, rather than routing it through the PM-CARES Fund," he added.
In a letter, AIIMS administration rejected their request and said, "Anyone who did not want to contribute to the fund's noble cause, would have to formally opt-out". The doctors, however, continued with their resentment.
The letter further stated that there is no provision in place to collect donations from residents for internal use for the provision of facilities to equip healthcare workers, like PPEs.
In the letter, the Resident Doctors Association said: "RDA AIIMS, appreciates the initiatives by the prime minister and the health and home ministry, state governments, health officials, manufacturers, good samaritans who have contributed to the battle against COVID-19 pandemic. RDA AIIMS also appreciates the initiative by the government in setting up the PM-CARES fund and acknowledging the financial burden the pandemic of this scale can pose on the underfunded Indian public health care system. At the same time, RDA AIIMS also believes the rights of the individual should be the primary object of all governments".
"RDA AIIMS reiterates that as the majority of residents have donated on a personal level and want to exercise choice of further donation, We again request the administration to reconsider the decision and make the donation opt-in or reject it altogether," the letter further read.
The letter added that RDA AIIMS will continue to stand for the "values it represents".
"We have full faith that AIIMS administration will reconsider the decision and restore faith in residents," the letter read.
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