After safai karamcharis, resident doctors, nursing staff and other employees at municipal hospitals under East and North corporations may go on strike from April 1 over non-payment of salaries. Salaries of doctors and nurses have reportedly not been paid for February, members of doctors’ associations said.
Together, the corporations have 10 hospitals, including Kasturba, Swami Dayanand and Hindu Rao hospitals. “We have called a general body meeting on April 1 of all doctors from municipal hospitals.
If the delay in disbursement of salaries continues, we will be forced to go on an indefinite strike. At some hospitals, salaries have not been paid for three months and, across hospitals, employees have not received salaries for February,” a member of the municipal doctors’ association said.
He added that last week, association members met the authorities at East and North corporations and were told the corporations had taken loans to meet Budget demands.
On Thursday, a token strike was held with employees returning to work after meeting the municipal authorities. “If we do not get our salaries this month, we will be forced to go on strike,” he said.
Sources said the shortage of funds had also delayed procurement of medicines and consumables at the hospitals. The Federation of Doctors’ Association, which had announced a strike at city hospitals earlier this month, had said Hindu Rao and Swami Dayanand hospitals were short of protective masks and swine flu testing kits.
The Class III and IV employees at municipal hospitals have been going on strike on and off over the last eight months over delay in disbursement of salaries. “When we go on strike, salaries are commissioned, but there is no permanent solution,” R K Saxena, a member of the employees’ union at Hindu Rao, said.
Sources said the North corporation, which runs Hindu Rao hospital, was also making fresh recruitment of doctors for its associated medical college.
“The Medical Council of India (MCI) had pointed out a shortage of teaching staff and infrastructure, which we are correcting. Advertisements for teaching staff have been issued. This is contributing to added expenditure, so a shortage of funds at this point has skewed budgetary allocations,” a senior hospital official said.
Members of the doctors’ association said they had objected to the fresh recruitment in their meeting with municipal authorities. “If you cannot pay salaries to existing employees, how can you make fresh recruitment?” a member said.
Meanwhile, safai karamcharis in East Delhi have been on strike for a week over delay in disbursement of salaries for three months, dumping garbage on key roads. After the corporation released salaries for a month on Saturday, sanitation workers have been demanding salaries for the other two months as well.