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“Covid Warriors Can’t March On Empty Stomach”: Protesting Delhi Doctors

Hindu Rao Hospitals’ docs and healthcare employees sat on the street chanting “no salary no work”.

New Delhi:

Amid the disaster over pending salaries of docs of civic body-run hospitals in Delhi, many medics on Thursday expressed their anguish over the problem, saying they might bravely fight the pandemic state of affairs and serve individuals however “Covid warriors can’t march on an empty stomach”.

Resident docs of three North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC)-run hospitals are at present holding an agitating in search of launch of their salaries due for the final three months. Also, an affiliation of everlasting docs of civic-body run hospitals has warned of holding an indefinite strike from October 19 if their calls for weren’t met.

Resident docs of Hindu Rao Hospital had been the primary to come back out in protest after “being sick of their voices not being heard when they agitated online”.

“Are doctors superhumans? Do we not have material needs, ration to bring home, family to feed, loans to repay? Do authorities just expect us to keep working with no salaries, and for how long? They asked people to clang ‘thalis’ and showered flowers from above on us. I feel all those gestures, feel hollow to us right now,” mentioned Abhimanyu Sardana, president RDA of Hindu Rao Hospital.

Until a few days in the past, the power was a devoted COVID-19 facility.

It was faraway from the checklist of COVID-19 services due to the low common mattress occupancy of the hospital and request obtained from the NDMC with fast impact, in line with a Delhi authorities order. The metropolis authorities had on Saturday ordered shifting of COVID-19 sufferers from the civic-run hospital to its personal services.

Delhi’s coronavirus an infection tally rose to three.17 lakh with authorities reporting 3,324 new instances on Wednesday, whereas 44 fatalities took the variety of deaths to five,898. The variety of lively instances was 21,903 on Wednesday, of which 12,360 had been beneath dwelling isolation.

Mr Sardana on Thursday introduced {that a} joint protest has been deliberate at Jantar Mantar on Friday by resident docs of 900-bed Hindu Rao Hospital, 450-bed Kasturba Hospital and Rajen Babu Tuberculosis Hospital, all three being British-era services.

“No resolution to the issue seems to be in sight. We doctors have just become like a football among various parties. No one cares for us, but they expect us to take care of people in this COVID-19 crisis,” he mentioned.

RR Gautam, president of the Municipal Corporation Doctors’ Association (MCDA), mentioned, “Society treats us as gods, but, they should accept that we are humans”.

“As doctors, it is our solemn duty to serve humanity, and we will continue to do so. They call doctors as covid warriors. But, how long will an army march on an empty stomach? Soldiers stationed in inhospitable Siachin, will they be able to fight the adversaries without food supplies?” he posed.

MCDA, an affiliation of senior everlasting docs of the civic hospitals, was established in 1974, and has about 1200 members, Mr Gautam mentioned.

The predominant six NDMC-run hospitals whose workers are members of MCDA are — Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, Mrs Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital, Rajen Babu Tuberculosis Hospital, Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital and Ram Balak Hospital.

“We are demoralised, depressed and our family well-being is at stake. We need our salaries. Our demands include the immediate release of pending salaries of July to September; arrears as also pension and other benefits to retired doctors which have been pending for many months,” Gautam mentioned.

Doctors are being hailed as “covid warriors”, however do authorities anticipate them to combat this battle on “empty stomach”, he mentioned.

Sunil Prasad, the president of RDA of Kasturba Hospital, whose members have gone on a week-long strike since Wednesday over salaries due, asserted that “we are sick of being treated like a football among various parties”.

“We doctors want a resolution to this issue and a life of dignity. We are not asking for any luxury. Why have our voices been ignored?” he requested.

Mr Prasad mentioned, “The ‘taali, thaali, and pushp varsha’ (clapping, banging of utensils, and floral showers) gestures during the lockdown ring hollow for us right now. Will that feed us and our family? In fact, these gestures sound so ironical to us, in retrospect.”

The docs’ pending salaries situation has grow to be a flashpoint between the ruling AAP in Delhi and the three BJP-led civic our bodies, notably the NDMC.

Both have accused one another of “playing politics” over the problem. While the AAP dispensation has mentioned funds have been launched to the civic our bodies, NDMC Mayor Jai Prakash has been alleging that “the city government has not released crores of funds due to the corporations”.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has on a number of events mentioned if “the civic bodies cannot run its hospitals and pay salaries to doctors, they should hand over the facilities to the Delhi government”.

MCDA president Gautam mentioned, “We are doctors, we want to serve people. We just want our salaries. But, in this bid, we don’t want to be used as an instrument of politics by anyone.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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