Commissioners promise to clear salary dues, docs to meet today

Patients turning up at municipal corporation-run hospitals continued to suffer as the doctors’ strike entered its sixth day on Thursday. Doctors have now been assured by the commissioners of the corporations the salaries for December and January would be released by February 15.

The doctors have now called for a general body meeting on Friday morning to decide whether the strike would be called off.

“The commissioners have given us in writing that the salaries for December and January will be released by February 15. The salaries of November have been already released. We have called for a general body meeting where we will decide if the strike will be called off,” said Dr Maruti Sinha, secretary, Municipal Corporation Doctors Association (MCDA).

The doctors had decided to continue with the strike on Wednesday even after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a loan of over Rs 550 crore for the two corporations citing this was not a “permanent solution” to the pending salaries.

Doctors, nurses and paramedics joined other municipal employees under the united front over pending salaries on Saturday.

Patients at receiving end
Patients have been at the receiving end of healthcare services with OPD services and routine admissions coming to a halt for almost a week now. Only critical patients were attended to in the emergency. Stable patients were discharged from the hospital on Saturday.

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.

The doctors have also appealed to Kejriwal for the state government to take over the health services under the municipal corporations so that the problem of shortage of funds does not recur.
This would also put an end to the harassment faced by patients due to the strike, the letter from the MCDA to the Chief Minister states.

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