New Delhi: Doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians, and other staff of the MCD run hospitals in Delhi went on an indefinite strike on Saturday protesting the non-payment of their salaries for months.
“All doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians, and other staff of the MCD run hospitals including Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital, Rajan Babu TB Hospital, Swami Dayanand Hospital and clinics and dispensaries are on an indefinite strike since yesterday and so far no one from the government has even given us a call or contacted us,” Dr Dheeraj Agrawal, a doctor at Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, told India Medical Times.
“For the last one-year we have not received our salary on time. There have been strikes against this and the group which goes on strike gets the salary. But for the last three months we have not received our salary at all. We received our last salary in October,” said Dr Agrawal who is also member, governing council of the Federation of Resident Doctors Association, Delhi (FORDA).
Dr Agrawal said, “We understand there is a political problem between the Delhi Government and the municipal authorities but salary is a basic need and we should not be made to suffer because of their political problems.”
He said, “We had even moved the CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal), and the government was directed to release our salary by December 31. MCD says it’s bankrupt and the government claims it has given funds to the MCD but they are corrupt. And in all this we are suffering, our family, children are suffering, we are unable to pay our EMIs; the patients are suffering, the waiting time for getting treatment in government hospitals is already more than four hours and now with the strikes on they will have to wait more in some other hospitals.”
Dr Agrawal claimed, “Our chief minister is not even ready to meet us. We are told that we cannot go on strike and are threatened with the ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act). But what can we do? We are doctors but there are also employees with about Rs 6,000 monthly salary and if they don’t get their salary for months, you can imagine their plight. If the situation continues like this, some of them might even be forced to suicide.”
Speaking about the empty beds at the Bara Hindu Rao Hospital’s emergency ward, Dr Agrawal said, “The whole hospital is deserted, beds are empty, only emergency services are being rendered and there too most of the patients are just being provided first aid and then referred to other hospitals. Patients are suffering due to lack of proper care and treatment but the government and the municipal authorities are busy playing petty politics.”
All pictures are of the emergency ward of Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Delhi. (Photo: Dr Dheeraj Agrawal)
by Rajesh Barnwal