It’s over. More than 500 junior doctors and post-graduate medical students at Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, the teaching wing of Safdarjung Hospital in south Delhi, called off their strike on Wednesday.
The strike had disrupted functioning of the Out Patient Department (OPD) for two consecutive days, affecting close to 5,000 patients. The union health ministry had released Rs 1.7 crore on Monday to overhaul the falling infrastructure in the hospital and its college.
“We have sanctioned a substantial amount of money for repair work. A three-member panel has been set up to look into the matter and appease the students,” said R.K. Srivastava, director, health services.
The panel comprises director of the hospital, Dr Jagdish Prasad, Medical superintendent Dr N.K. Mohanty and college principal Dr V.K. Sharma. Dr Prasad met students on Wednesday evening and assured them of meeting their demands soon.
The students have been assured that the elevators will be functional from Saturday and the centralised air-conditioning system will be repaired within 10 days. By June 14, all the facilities are expected to be in place.
The hospital authorities and the president of the students union will meet New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) officials on Thursday to ensure the Rs 33-crore new hostel, which has been lying ready for the past six months, gets all the necessary clearances for students to be move in.
The junior doctors and post-graduate students were on an indefinite hunger strike since Monday against the lack of basic facilities in the college.
The strike hit the functioning of the hospital, the second largest government hospital in the capital after AIIMS. Thousands of patients had no one to attend to in the OPD of the hospital.
“I’m a daily wager and each day I spend here means a loss that that day’s income for me,” said Khet Ram (40), a resident of Muzaffarnagar in UP, who had come to get his wife examined at the hospital but couldn’t do it.