Thousands of people continued to flock to the Gautam Budh Nagar district hospital due to the lockdown in seven rural and 11 urban Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs) caused by the indefinite strike of contractual medical staff since Wednesday.
An estimated two lakh contractual staff members under the National Health Mission Contractual Workers Union (NHM-CWU) have been on strike across the state demanding minimum wages, job security and allotment of government jobs in the health department.
On Monday, over 3,300 visitors visited the district hospital’s outpatient department (OPD), as against an average of 2,000 patients per day.
The present season has caused viral fever among thousands of residents in the district. The district health department has identified 24 cases of chikungunya and four cases of dengue till now.
Dr HM Lavania, senior pathologist of district hospital, said the influx of suspected patients has not reduced in the past week.
“Even today (Monday), we ended up testing 1,500 suspected patients. One case of chikungunya was also confirmed in our sample testing. The numbers are expected to slow down by the end of this week,” said Dr Lavania.
The health department said that permanent employees have been asked to increase their working hours in order to compensate for the shortage
“We are trying to negotiate with the agitators. In the absence of contractual staff, we have asked the permanent staff to increase their working hours,” said Dr Vijay Deepak Verma, chief medical officer.
However, he has not given a definite directive about the increase in number of hours of the government employees.
“It depends on the circumstances. There are no specific orders to increase their duty hours. They will work as
per the requirements,” said Dr Verma.
Meanwhile, striking workers have decided to organise a cleanliness campaign in the chief medical officer’s office in Sector 39 on Tuesday as a Gandhian protest.
“We will be cleaning the health office on Tuesday as Gandhigiri because this government is not at all willing to listen to the demands of the oppressed classes ,” said Pramod Kumar, district project manager, National Rural Health Mission (NRH).