Strike badly hits health services for third day

OPDs remain paralysed as doctors, nurses agitate

Patients continued to suffer at municipal-run hospitals as doctors and nurses entered their third day of indefinite strike here on Monday.

The OPDs and routine admissions were paralysed on Monday as doctors attended to only critical patients at the emergencies.

Doctors at the North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital, Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis, Kasturba Hospital, Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital and Balak Ram Hospital and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Swami Dayanand Hospital joined other municipal employees under the united front over pending salaries on Saturday.

Majority of patients admitted to wards were discharged as nurses, paramedics and doctors remained on strike.

“Doctors have not received salaries of November, December and January. This is a recurring problem and we want the municipal corporations and the government to sort out the issue. A strike is at the inconvenience of the patients but we have no other options,” said Dr R R Gautam, president, Municipal Corporation Doctors Association.

“Stable patients were discharged from the hospital. Currently, critical patients are admitted at the hospital. Emergency services are being run,” said Dr D K Seth, Director, Bara Hindu Rao Hospital.

Pregnant women at the Kasturba Hospital were turned away too. Routine deliveries also were halted.

“Women who came to the emergency in labour pain were attended to,” said Dr Maruti Sinha, secretary, MCDA.

Doctors expressed helplessness over halting medical services over pending salaries.
“But the medical staff have been receiving staff erratically for the past many months now. The conditions under which the resident doctors are working are also unfavourable. We will not join work till the salaries are cleared,” said Dr Aditya Gupta, president, Resident Doctors Association, Hindu Rao Hospital.

A senior North Delhi Municipal Corporation official said the salaries of the staff of the health department will be cleared within this week.

“The pending salaries of November will be cleared by Tuesday and that of December within the next three days. The corporation has received some grants and the salaries will be updated. The administration will then open a dialogue with doctors and nurses over calling off the strike,” said the official.

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