Hindu Rao Hospital de-notified as Covid-19 facility, docs from two more hospitals to go on strike
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Hindu Rao Hospital, where resident doctors are currently agitating over unpaid salaries, was on Tuesday removed from the list of designated Covid-19 facilities in the national capital, the Delhi government said.
Hindu Rao is one of the five hospitals run by the north corporation and the only one to treat Covid-19 patients.The other four hospitals are Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis, Maharshi Valmiki Infectious Disease hospital, Kasturba Hospital, and Giridhari Lal hospital.
The resident doctors association (RDA) of Hindu Rao Sunday went on an indefinite strike after the civic body failed to clear the salary dues.
Abhimanyu Sardana, president of RDA, Hindu Rao Hospital, said doctors are continuing with their strike. “From Wednesday, resident doctors of Kasturba Hospital and Rajan Babu Institute will also join the strike,” he said.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the RDA of Kasturba Hospital said doctors have not received salaries since July. “We would like to inform you that we will be on strike for the next seven days, from October 14 to 20, or till our salaries are paid. After October 20, all resident doctors will give in their resignations en masse,” read the statement.
In an order issued by principal secretary (health and family welfare) Vikram Dev Dutt on Tuesday, the government said Hindu Rao Hospital was declared a designated Covid-19 facility on June 14 in view of the surge in cases back then.
“A request has been received from the commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, for converting Hindu Rao Hospital to a non-Covid hospital. The matter has been examined and in view of the low average bed occupancy of the hospital and the request received from the North DMC, the hospital is being removed from the list of designated Covid-19 hospitals with immediate effect,” read the order.
The Delhi government, on Saturday, ordered the shifting of Covid-19 patients from Hindu Rao to its own health facilities. Seventeen patients were shifted Lok Nayak Hospital and three to Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital, while those in the intensive care unit of Hindu Rao Hospital continued to remain there.
Civic officials said the out-patient department (OPD) of the 900-bed hospital reopened to non-Covid patients from Tuesday.
“The Delhi government agreed to our demand of de-linking Hindu Rao Hospital. Since the order, already 137 non-Covid patients were attended to at the hospital’s OPD. As for salaries, we are trying to disburse the funds by next week. But, the order will be from bottom to top, which means that the lower rung staff will be paid dues before the doctors,” said Jai Prakash, mayor of North corporation.
AAP DEMANDS SPECIAL SESSION
Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and civic bodies in-charge Durgesh Pathak Tuesday demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled civic bodies call a special session and pass a proposal to hand over both Hindu Rao and Kasturba Gandhi hospitals to the Delhi government.
“The BJP should immediately call a session of the MCD and pass the matter in the house and in the standing committee by which these hospitals can be handed over to the Delhi government under the AAP. The AAP will run these hospitals within the available budget and develop these hospitals like the way we have developed the health infrastructure in Delhi,” he said.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta, who is also a councillor in the North corporation, said, “The corporations are facing a financial problem and are unable to pay salaries as the Delhi government is not releasing funds. The government has further reduced our funds by nearly 58% on account of the pandemic. Even the Delhi government is unable to pay salaries to its own guest teachers, professors, doctors and so on.”