Medics want permanent solution to salary woes, will carry on strike

Doctors at civic body-run hospitals decided to continue with their indefinite strike as they did not see the amount being released by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as a loan of over Rs 550 crore for the two municipal corporations as a solution to their recurring problem.

Municipal corporation doctors wrote to Kejriwal that the health services be taken over by the state government to resolve the issue of pending salaries permanently.
Doctors urged that the government bail out the municipal corporations at the earliest so that patients are not inconvenienced.

Government sources said if the state government takes over the municipal corporation hospitals, over Rs 800 crore will be saved, as per annual expenditure.
“It is sad that we have been forced to strike over the non-payment of salaries. We have urged the government for taking over the health services to resolve the issue. We are aware that patients are suffering and as doctors we do not want patients to be harassed due to strike. A permanent solution should be worked out,” said Dr R R Gautam, president, Municipal Corporation Doctors’ Association (MCDA).

However, the over Rs 550 crore amount being released for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation was seen as “inadequate”. 

“The amount that has been promised by the Delhi government will cover the salaries till January. But our question is what next? We have been agitating for the last one year over irregular payments but no permanent solution has been offered to us. We have decided to continue with the strike till the issue is resolved,” said Dr Maruti Sinha, secretary, Municipal Corporation Doctors Association (MCDA).

The six major hospitals which are on strike since Saturday are 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.

Patients continued to suffer for the fifth day on Wednesday as OPD services and routine admissions remained paralysed. Doctors attended to only critical patients at the emergency of the hospitals.

Doctors, nurses and paramedics joined other municipal employees under the united front over pending salaries on Saturday.
Stable patients were discharged from hospitals.

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