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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Patients suffer as health staff observes pen-down strike

Sanjeev Bhalla Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, December 11, 2013
First Published: 20:21 IST(11/12/2013) | Last Updated: 23:29 IST(11/12/2013)

The health services at Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) have once again went on pen-down strike over non-payment of salaries for last five months. The OPD services were hit and the doctors reportedly kept themselves away from teaching.

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PIMS sources revealed that two days back, the doctors had given ultimatum to PIMS Principal Director warning to go on strike, if the salaries were not released in a day or two by management.

In October, the PIMS management had reportedly issued cheques pertaining to months of July and August with a bearing date of November 10. But the agitation grew due to insufficient funds in the bank. A doctor revealed adding that, “It is almost a month that we had been taking this matter to the principal but she has failed to give any convincing reply.”

PIMS is managed by Punjab Minister of Rural Development and Panchayats Surjit Singh Rakhra, to whom the institute had been handed on lease from 99-years.

“We boycotted the class today and kept ourselves away from OPD services. Doctors attend the patients only during emergency and protest would continue till we get our salaries,” said another doctor.

The doctors were further annoyed over no-concern shown by management to their agitation.

“Strikes for salaries had become a very unfortunate feature of PIMS as many strikes has been held earlier for salaries. The state government should should take immediate measures to resolve the issues,” said a doctor.

Talking to media-persons principal director Kulbir Kaur said that she had conveyed the grievances of doctors to the management when she heard for the ultimatum of strike.

Interestingly, director Jaspal Dhesi when asked for comments on non-clearance of cheques said, “The cheques were issued to staff for security purposes. None of the doctores have approached me with their problems and even added that strike at PIMS is not new, we would meet the agitators and convince them to end strike.”

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