At least five specialist doctors working at Padang Sidempuan Hospital, a COVID-19 referral hospital in North Sumatra, have resigned from their positions in response to reportedly unpaid incentives.
The hospital's director, Tetty Rumondang, said the five doctors, namely Musbar, Romi, Novi Rahmi Asroel, Fauzi Fahmi and Yessy, submitted their resignations in late March as they had not received a total of Rp 300 million (US$19,028) collectively in incentives over three months. They said they were told they would receive Rp 20 million each in monthly incentives.
"I asked the deputy director, Parlindungan Pasaribu, who is in charge of payment and he said that he hadn't been instructed by the city's mayor to pay out the incentives," Tetty said, adding that she had reported the resignation to Padang Sidempuan Mayor Irsan Effendi Nasution.
She was unhappy about the resignation as the hospital needed specialists to treat COVID-19 patients.
Irsan said separately that he had just heard about the resignation. "I haven't received the report from the hospital."
North Sumatra Ombudsman head Abyadi Siregar said the doctors' resignations showed the authorities' lack of initiative in seriously handling the COVID-19 outbreak in the city.
The city administration, Abyadi added, should have recruited more specialist doctors at the time of the health crisis instead of letting the existing ones leave their positions.
"We urge the Padang Sidempuan administration to seriously handle the pandemic," he said, adding that a Padang Sidempuan resident had died of the disease recently. (vny)