Staff strike hits services at RMLIMS and KGMU
STIR CALLED OFF Workers were demanding release of pending allowances as per 7th Pay Commission
Staff strike at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) and the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) affected healthcare services at the two premier institutes for a few hours on Tuesday.
The para-medical and non-clinical staff was demanding release of pending allowances as per the 7th Pay Commission.
Till noon, over 50 operations had to be postponed and diagnostics remained paralysed at the two centres.
Shambhulal, 35, reached RMLIMS at 7 am, hoping to see a doctor but wasn’t aware about the staff strike. He kept waiting till 12 pm, but could not get diagnosed. He was not alone. Many others faced a similar situation due to the strike.
About 600 patients were seen in the OPD of RMLIMS in comparison to the average daily count of over 2,000. Here, doctors also joined the staff strike.
“Workers are raising slogans. Some people are making OPD ticket but they say there are no doctors in the chambers,” said Ram Sajivan, brother of Shambhulal.
The agitating staff at RMLIMS had already stopped work on Monday (around 1.30 pm). No patients could be admitted to the emergency wing of the institute at night and patients were returned.
During the day, around 45 operations listed by different departments had to be put on hold. Though a few contractual workers deployed at OPD counters and other departments were on duty, they were not of much use as patients could not see doctors despite having OPD ticket.
“After 3 pm, we managed about 300 patients in the OPD while an equal number had been seen in the morning despite agitation by the staff. Many operations were done after 3 pm when the strike was called off,” said Prof AK Tripathi, director, RMLIMS.
SCENE AT KGMU
Agitating staff reached the administrative block of KGMU early on Tuesday morning and sat on the stairs after locking the main entrance. They also stopped work at the OPD counters.
The workers raised slogans, demanding pay and perks as per the 7th Pay Commission. Around 11 am, the proctor came to the administrative block with guards and broke the lock. Prior to that, OPD work was stalled and patients were kept waiting.
The employees’ association started a protest demonstration at the administrative block and the office bearers said they shall continue till they get in writing from principal secretary medical education or minister medical education that perks will be paid to them at par with staff of PGI with effect from July 1, 2017.
“We decided to allow the OPD to run in patients’ interest. We will conduct a meeting on August 9. If there is no response by authorities till then, we will go on an indefinite strike,” said Pradip Gangwar, employees’ leader.
At KGMU, 4,251 patients were seen at the OPD after it became functional at 11 am. On an average, the OPD sees over 7,000 in a day.
“The services were affected till 11 am, but later we attended to patients,” said Dr Sudhir Singh, spokesperson, KGMU.