Bahrain hospital blames unpaid bills in wages row
Manama, July 9, 2014
A private hospital in Bahrain has blamed non-payment of medical bills by patients for delays in paying its own staff.
The cash crunch at the International Hospital of Bahrain (IHB) has resulted in 23 doctors and employees resigning since last year, its head of finance confirmed yesterday.
Indian hospital staff raised the issue during an open house at the Indian Embassy, in Adliya, last month, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
An Indian Embassy spokesman told the GDN that a lawyer had been appointed and legal action could be taken if the staff were not paid by the end of this month.
"We have asked the doctors to send us a written complaint, which they already did, and we have referred this case to a lawyer to follow up," said the spokesman.
"If they don't get their dues within this month, we have asked the lawyer to take action against the hospital."
However, the IHB head of finance said it was now in the process of settling outstanding payments.
"There are doctors who resigned and left IHB as they weren't happy," he told the GDN on condition that he was not named.
"Employees who were sacked by us have already received their dues, but some who resigned are still waiting to get final settlement.
"We are trying to settle them one by one, as we cannot pay them altogether.
"A total of 23 doctors and employees resigned since last year, out of which 10 have already received their money.
"The delay happened because of high amounts which we still haven't received from our clients.
"But now we have started receiving better collection from our patients, so we will finish this matter within this month."
One doctor who used to work at the hospital claimed she resigned at the end of last year, but was still waiting for money she is owed.
"I resigned in September last year, but they asked me to stay on until December to which I agreed," she told the GDN.
"But it's been seven months and I haven't received my final settlement.
"There are many other doctors who resigned and left the hospital for the same reason - delays in payment of wages."
She said she was owed BD1,400 ($3,695), but the finance department openly admitted to staff that it did not have the funds to pay them.
"Whenever we call to ask about our pending dues, the finance department says they don't have enough funds to pay us," she added.
"I don't understand how a hospital with 35 years of service in Bahrain has no finances to pay its staff." - TradeArabia News Service