Patients awaiting surgery were forced to wait longer with specialist doctors refusing to perform surgeries at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital on Monday.
On the call of the Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Specialist Doctors’ Association, these doctors proceeded on a strike to protest against the government for not fulfilling their long-pending demands.
As a result, patients requiring surgeries were referred to Rajendra Hospital, Patiala, and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. However, emergency cases remained unaffected.
As a mark of protest, all PCMS specialist doctors didn’t sit in their respective OPDs and laid office furniture in the open area to attend to patients. Usually, specialist doctors do approximately eight to 10 surgeries at the hospital.
In the gynaecology ward, three caesarean operations were due, but they were postponed for the next day.
Three patients, who lined up for cataract surgeries at the ophthalmology department, were asked to return the next day.
Besides, no ultrasound or other tests were done as pathologists also remained on strike, forcing patients to wait for their tests reports.
Association president Dr Avinash Jindal said, “We didn’t have any intention to harass the patients, but were left with no option, thanks to the government’s indifference. It’s high time that the government gives an ear to our demands, otherwise all responsibility will lie with the government only.”
“If the government fails to act immediately, specialist doctors will be forced stop specialist work in the entire Punjab in the near future,” Dr Davinder Kumar, general secretary of the association, said.
Senior medical officer (SMO) Dr RK Karkara said, “Specialist doctors were on strike, thus no surgery could be performed at the hospital and patients were referred to other hospitals.”
Higher qualification allowance (HQA) should be given to all post-graduate PCMS doctors. The benefit should be given from the date of acquiring the qualification instead of June 2012. HQA should be increased to 50% of the basic pay or 30% of total emoluments
Non-practicing allowance (NPA) should be renamed Special Medical Pay. It should be treated as part of pay for all intents and purposes as in the Central Health Services and upper ceiling of pay plus NPA should be abolished. Anomaly in the pay fixation of PCMS officers should be rectified in which NPA has not been considered as part of basic pay
Minimum grade pay for newly recruited graduates should be Rs 6,600 and for newly recruited specialists it should be Rs 7,600. Rs 10,000 should be given as grade pay to specialist and graduate doctors after 11 and 18 years of service, respectively.
PCMS officers be provided vehicles for government duty or be given conveyance allowance
Since 1988 PCMS doctors are getting Rs 100 and rs 250 as academic allowance for non-specialists and specialists, respectively. This should be increased to 5% of the basic pay.