BY ASHISH SRIVASTAVA
New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Irked over non-payment of salaries for four months in a row, the resident doctors of North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Hindu Rao hospital have announced the discontinuation of the Covid and emergency services in the facility from Saturday.
The doctors will also be holding a symbolic march from the hospital to the house of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal, on Friday. They are also planning to submit a memorandum and seek rectification on the issue.
“We are tormented in ways to surpass our ethics of being called as skilled workers to public demonstrators seeking our primitive rights to be remunerated. This is in all physiological and psychical ways too dispiriting, and heart-wrecking and we would like to regrettably disengage from the Covid facility from Saturday, illustrating our debilitated strength to administer our expertise.
We are failing miserably even to run our basic errands and accomplish our daily routine hence we are retracting further to provide our services in the emergency Covid department,” the statement by the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of the hospital said.
The decision to disengage themselves from the Covid and emergency services is a move to aggravate the protest the doctors have been doing since Monday.
The resident doctors and nursing staff of the hospital are on partial “symbolic indefinite strike” since Monday where they refrained themselves from services, except emergency, and demonstrated daily for two hours in the morning over non-payment of their due salaries since June.
The RDA of the hospital told IANS that the decision was made after their protest did not yield any result.
“We had a discussion with the hospital administration and the officials of North Delhi Municipal Corporation. They told us that we would be paid within the next 60 days. We are already unpaid for four months now. How are we even going to survive without a penny? We are forced to take this decision,” Abhimanyu Sardana, president, RDA-Hindu Rao, said.
“What is the point of branding us as Covid warriors? The theatrics of clapping and banging utensils for us? What is the need to shower flower petals when, in reality, our dignity is tormented everyday? Our right to remuneration has been snatched. Our protest was meant to remind the authorities that we are also humans who need money which brings food and shelter for us. Even slaves are paid. So why can’t so-called corona warriors be?” he asked.
Sardana also highlighted the issues that over 300 doctors were facing due to non-payment of their dues. Many among us live in rented accommodation. “We have taken upon the responsibility of the needs of our families as well. How are we supposed to manage that without a salary? We are slogging every day to contain the Covid-19 spread. We are morally bound by our hypocritical oath not to deny the treatment but till when? Is the government not bound by their responsibility to look after the frontline warriors?” he said.
Hindu Rao Hospital is the largest municipal hospital in Delhi with 900 beds and is currently a dedicated Covid-19 facility. Many of its healthcare workers had contracted the infection earlier.
IANS reached out to the Medical Superintendent of the hospital for the query, but our calls and messages went unanswered. North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash also did not revert to the questions posed to him. He had recently said, “We are doing everything possible to resolve the issue”.
BY ASHISH SRIVASTAVA