The strike by paramedical and clerical staff over non-payment of salaries at the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) entered the third day on Wednesday and severly impacted OPD services.
Paramedical staff, including all technicians and clerical staff working in different departments, went on strike on Monday after failure of management to transfer salaries to their accounts. In November 2012, employees had to resort to a strike to get their salaries.
Paramedical staff has not been paid salaries since December; medical staff and doctors have been working without salaries for more than six months, sources said.
"The hospital management has been assuring us on the early disbursing of salaries, but nothing has resulted. How can we survive with our families without salaries for son many months?," said an agitating employee.
"The government and authorities should find a permanent solution. The future of all employees is bleak, due to which most have been disheartened. Some very good employees have switched their jobs," he added. The deadlock has led to harassment of the patients.
"The technicians are on a strike. For scanning of the chest of my son, I went to a private lab," said Rajinder Singh, a local resident.
Meanwhile, Nayala Arora, public relations officer, on behalf of director principla PIMS Dr Kulbir Kaur said, "The hospital administration is in touch with higher authorities, regarding the clearance of pending salaries. Very soon, the issue will be resolved amicably and the staff will be back on duty. Emergency services have not been hit. Some OPD services are also operational as computer operators and doctors are performing their duties," she added.
In September 2012, PIMS promoters had expressed their inability to the state government on running PIMS operations, owing to a montly loss of Rs. 3 crore, but the government is yet to take a final call.
The institute was allotted to a charitable society headed by minister Rakhra on 99-year lease during the previous SAD-BJP regime.
PIMS is being managed by Punjab minister Surjit Singh Rakhra led charitable society, PIMS Medical and Education Charitable Society.