RML hospital workers on hunger strike

Group C and D employees of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital began on Monday a 50-hour hunger strike against the government’s decision to withdraw patient care allowance and start an insurance policy.

 “Employees of Group D get Rs 700 and Group C get Rs 695 as patient care allowance. Once insurance is introduced, we will have to pay per month to the government according to the number of family members. We will claim it only if there is a medical need, else we lose the money,” said Mukesh Sharma, spokesperson of All India Health Employees and Workers’ Federation. He said other demands of the employees include stopping of outsourcing of essential services and contractual labour. “We are demanding permanent status to employees and filling up of vacant posts,” said a protester. Services on kitchen, cleanliness and security were first to be outsourced. The latest has been the registration counter and the rest of the employees are on contract.Forty-four employees are sitting near gate No. 5 of the hospital. The hunger strike will continue till Wednesday afternoon. Sharma said they held another strike recently, but despite assurances the government has not acted to meet their demands. He said employees will intensify the agitation if their demands remain unmet. Sources said though work in the hospital was not affected on Monday as the agitation started after outpatient department services were over, but it will be affected from Tuesday.

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