The Delhi government Saturday issued an order to shift Covid patients from the North MCD-run Hindu Rao Hospital, where resident doctors have threatened to strike work over non-payment of salaries, to state government-run health facilities.
On Friday, resident doctors threatened to withdraw from work if their salaries, unpaid for around three months, are not disbursed in 48 hours.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said 20-odd coronavirus patients undergoing treatment at the hospital, a Covid-dedicated facility, will be shifted to various hospitals under the state government over the possibility of healthcare workers withdrawing from work from Sunday. “Doctors and nurses have served notices for the planned strike. So we have ordered that corona patients admitted there be shifted to Delhi government hospitals like Lok Nayak and others. There are around 20 corona patients at Hindu Rao currently,” Jain said at a press conference.
Eventually 17 patients were shifted to Lok Nayak and three to Aruna Asaf Ali. Hindu Rao Hospital will be sanitised on Sunday, said officials.
Soon after Jain’s statement, Hindu Rao Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) vice-president Sagar Deep said some officials reached the hospital to discuss the patient discharge protocol.
RDA president Abhimanyu Sardana said discharge certificates were being made. “It is rather sad that at the end of the day, none of the authorities are concerned about our salary demand,” he said.
The Delhi government reiterated that it was ready to take over operations of the hospital if the BJP-led civic body was not in a position to pay healthcare staff attached with the facility. “If the North MCD is not in a position to pay doctors at Hindu Rao and Kasturba hospitals, then they should hand over operations to us. They are not short of funds though. They rake in tax revenues from various sources. This is mere politics,” Jain said.
However, North MCD Mayor Jai Prakash said Jain was doing politics over the hospital: “The Delhi government wants to create an atmosphere of anarchy by not giving funds to the North MCD so they can take advantage of it in the upcoming corporation elections.”
“It wants to financially cripple the corporation by continuously cutting funds or by not giving outstanding funds. It has not given Rs 425.06 crore of basic tax assignment head, Rs 57.18 crore under health, Rs 271.80 crore under sanitation and Rs 201.80 crore under the education head — a total of Rs 955.84 crore for the year 2020-21.
“We held a review meeting last week after which we had written to the Disaster Management department’s health secretary to allow us to convert the hospital into a non-Covid facility as the 900-bed hospital has only around 20 Covid patients. Serious patients will not be shifted,” he said.
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