The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the government and others regarding an indefinite strike by municipal doctors and nurses since January 29.
A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also sought responses from the north and east municipal corporations by February 10 on a public interest litigation that called the strike as “arbitrary and illegal”.
Those issued notice regarding the strike by doctors and nurses of hospitals and dispensaries run by the north and east municipal corporations are the municipal corporation doctors association, resident doctors association and nurses association.
The PIL by Youth Bar Association of India through advocate Sanpreet Singh Ajmani said the doctors were on strike for the last more than 72 hours and the patients were “victimised” as a result.
After municipal corporation sanitation workers went on a strike over the non-payment of salaries, doctors and nurses too called for an indefinite strike on January 29.
The plea sought direction to the striking doctors and nurses to call off their strike and demanded stern action against them. It said that as per a high court order, the strike by doctors was illegal and infringed on the fundamental rights of patients.
“By holding continuous strike for more than 70 hours, the doctors and nurses are causing constant harassment, acute mental and physical agony to the poor and innocent patients and their families,” said the plea.
The lawyer said media reports put the number of strikers at around 5,000 resident doctors, 2,000 senior doctors and 8,000 nurses.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has six major hospitals – Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, Giridhar Lal Maternity Hospital, Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital, Balak Ram Hospital and Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis.
The NDMC also has 15 polyclinics, eight obstetrics units, 33 dispensaries, 79 maternity and child welfare units, seven chest clinics, 11 mobile clinics, six school healthcare clinics and three post-mortem examination centres, said the plea.
The East Delhi Municipal Corporation has a major hospital, Swami Dayanand Hospital, in Shahdara, apart from one respiratory diseases hospital, eight maternity homes, 22 maternity and child welfare units, one polyclinic, one leprosy clinic, seven dispensaries, two chest clinics, eight mobile dispensaries, two school healthcare clinics and eight mobile medical units.