“I had to borrow money for Diwali,” Hindu Rao doctors say on threat of indefinite strike
New Delhi: The Association of Resident Doctors (RDA) of the Hindu Rao Hospital in the capital, which has 300 members, has been on strike again for the non-payment of salaries for two months. Doctors are currently on strike, they do not work from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and have been organizing a peaceful demonstration since Monday. However, they plan to “continue the strike indefinitely” from November 22 if their wages are not paid on time.
This means that doctors will not provide any non-essential services from that day forward, according to a letter written by the GDR on Thursday to Dr Anu Kapur, medical superintendent of Hindu Rao Hospital. In the letter, the association said that no senior resident or junior resident will perform non-essential service related duties, but emergency services will continue.
ThePrint tried to meet with Dr Kapur for his response, but was not allowed into his office.
RDA vice president and spokesperson Dr Anish Chaudhary told ThePrint doctors are tired of going on strike, but salaries have still not been paid.
âWe haven’t had a salary for three months. A month’s salary was credited the day before yesterday, but we still do not receive the July high cost allowance. We are only trying to draw the attention of the authorities and the top administration to this (problem) by demonstrating peacefully, but we have not received any assurances, either verbally or in writing, âChaudhary said.
âAlso last year we staged a strike and received written assurance, but they broke their promise. Imagine, even during Diwali, we didn’t get anything. We had to borrow money to celebrate the festival. We’re tired, so we go on a pen-down strike because we don’t have a choice. The next action plan will be decided later, âChaudhary added.
Meanwhile, the mayor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Jai Prakash, told ThePrint on a phone call that doctors were justified in asking for their dues and efforts were being made to pay their salaries soon, but that they should go back to work for the sake of the poor who come to the hospital.
“Strikes synonymous with Hindu Rao”
Another doctor told ThePrint on condition of anonymity that the Hindu Rao hospital and strikes had become synonymous.
âWhen new junior residents joined this year, they were asked to assure in writing that if their wages are not paid, they will not participate in any strikes or they will face action,â the doctor said. âNobody likes to go on strike, to throw slogans and not to work. We just want to do our job, learn in our residency, and serve people. We are forced to do these hit because it is difficult to survive in Delhi without regular wages.
The hospital and the GDR made the news in October 2020 when staff and doctors were not paid a salary and threatened to step down from Covid duty and go on leave en masse.
The Municipal Corporation Doctor’s Association (MCDA) wrote to the commissioner of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday, stressing that last year’s strike was called off following a written agreement between the commissioner, the GDR and the MCDA that the timely payment of salaries would be ensured in the future.
âNorth MCD has not honored the deal, so we are free to call a doctors strike. We can be informed if our salaries, agreements and DA improvement will be paid after observing the routine ritual of the full physician strike, thus putting the general public in extreme embarrassment or will be disbursed without resorting to such extreme measures, âthe MCDA said. in his letter.
Read also : Doctors at NDMC-run Hospitals Call Strike After Pending Wages Release
Mayor says “try to pay salaries soon”
The mayor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Jai Prakash, said the civic body suffers from constant financial difficulties. âThe Delhi government has cut our funds by 200 million rupees. But we are aware that the salaries of paramedics, nurses and doctors have been unpaid for almost three months, âPrakash said.
Demanding salaries is not a crime, he said, adding that doctors are only asking for their rights. âBut everyone should work together responsibly, looking at the current situation, because the poor come to Hindu Rao Hospital for treatment. Doctors and staff should return to work. We are trying to get the salaries paid soon, âthe mayor said. âWe are working to speed up the North MCD tax collection process. We are also trying to go to court so that we get our Rs 200 crore from Delhi government. “
“Indeed, the general public and the doctors are suffering, but I am in contact with all the unions of doctors and nurses and we will solve the problem after talking to them,” he added.
(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)
Read also : Doctors in hospitals run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation continue to strike