On day 9 of strike by staffs of Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Jalandhar cantonment Pargat Singh reached PIMS along with chairman district planning committee Gurcharan Singh Channi and member, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC), Kulwant Singh Mannan and showed their solidarity with the staff.
Pargat assured the staff that their pending salaries would be cleared within a week otherwise he too would sit on dharna with them.
Talking to HT, Pargat said: “I am in touch with the chief minister on this issue. He has assured us that in the coming days, the matter would be resolved. On his commitment, I am giving assurance to the agitating staff. As far as issue of releasing salaries is concerned, within a week the dues would be disbursed. Regarding permanent solution for PIMS problem, the deliberations are on at the state level. A committee of chief secretary and secretary health had submitted the report regarding viable options to the CM and very soon that issue would also be resolved.”
“It might be possible that the necessary amendments would be made in the memorandum of understanding to facilitate the subletting of institute to any other private institute,” he added.
“The PIMS is a premier institute of our state and we would not allow dying it in this way. By all means we would assure that it survives and provide a hope of cheap and affordable treatment to poor people of the region,” Pargat said.
Meanwhile, the agitation of staff entered day 9 today and the OPD services remained closed. No fresh admissions were made.
Doctors of PIMS are on strike over non-payment of salaries since July-2013. The management also issued post-dated cheques to staffs in October with date of November 20, to end one such agitation but the cheques bounced due to insufficient funds. Paramedicos and other non-teaching staff are also on strike on the issues of pending salaries for 3 months and discriminatory increments given to some of the staff members.
“We are not going to end our strike till we get all our salaries. Earlier too, we had made similar mistakes. We would continue with our agitation and keep on boycotting teaching also,” an agitating minister said.
Union minister of state for health and family welfare department Santosh Choudhary is also expected to visit the PIMS and meet agitating doctors on Friday evening.