Unpaid Delhi Doctors on Hunger Strike: IMA, FORDA censure authorities
New Delhi: In solidarity with the Resident Doctors of North MCD Hospitals of Delhi, who are on indefinite hunger strike for the past four days over non-payment of salaries, the Federation of Resident Doctors of India (FORDA) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) have demanded that the Municipal Corporation immediately pay the doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital their pending wages.
The protesting doctors of the hospital on Sunday took their protest to the streets as they demonstrated at Connaught Place against non-payment of salaries and later burnt an effigy of Ravana on the premises of the facility to draw attention to their plight, reports PTI.
The associations have strongly condemned the authorities for deaf ears to the plight of the protesting doctors. They have asked the authority to immediately resolve the issue, failing which will call for counter-reaction, wherein, FORDA has threatened to hold 2 hours pen-down Symbolic Protest in Non-Covid areas on 27/10/2020.
"FORDA stands in solidarity with the protesting Resident Doctors of North MCD Hospitals. We urge upon all the concerned authorities to resolve the issue within a period of 24 hours, failing which, we will be forced to agitate and hold 2 hours pen-down Symbolic Protest in Non-Covid areas on 27/10/2020 (Tuesday)," it said in a letter.
Meanwhile, IMA has flayed the authorities and in a statement on the issue titled 'Banana Republic', said,' The issue of nonpayment of salaries of doctors in Hindhu Rao Hospital is a case of systemic failure. Doctors who have served the nation during the corona pandemic deserve appropriate accolades and incentives. It defies logic when they have to resort to roadside agitations to get their legitimate salaries. It is entirely possible that the officials are insensitive to such situations by nature. The retreat of the political class from Governance all across the country seems to be a byproduct of the pandemic."
To specify, the Banana Republic is defined as a nation characterized by the absence of rule of law.
"The situation in Hindhu Rao Hospital is by no means isolated. All of us are witnesses to events across the country. Indian Medical Association takes serious exception to the unfortunate situation in Hindhu Rao Hospital which is under the management of Delhi Municipal Corporation. It sends a wrong message to the profession and the nation. It demoralizes the entire doctor community. If their services are so dispensable during a pandemic something is certainly rotten in the way we are governed. It is a new low in governance," the statement added.
There are sets of rules and regulations which govern appointments of individuals in defined positions and their salaries and perks. When something goes wrong with this for an individual it can be an aberration. When the whole system fails it is evidence of a much deeper malaise, the body expressed.
It went on to elaborate that good governance begins with running the services normally. Health care workers especially doctors are a national asset. The humiliation of doctors by denying legitimate salaries is nothing but state-sponsored violence.
Subsequently, the doctors' body which represents around 3.5 lakh medicos across the country highlighted that the Supreme Court had specifically directed that salaries of doctors and healthcare workers should be paid in time. It seems the writ of the highest court of the land does not bind these officials who administer these hospitals.
"IMA and the medical profession trust that there is adequate reason for the Court to initiate suo moto contempt proceedings against the administration of Hindhu Rao Hospital. Only such a strong response could restore faith in our institutions. IMA demands that the authorities should pay the salaries of the doctors along with the dues immediately," it said.
Commenting on the issue, IMA chief Dr Rajan Sharma while speaking to IANS, asked whether doctors should turn into Naxalites to claim their right to be paid. "It's a shame that at a time when the pandemic is raging, the doctors are forced to hit the streets, hold placards at places like Jantar Mantar and Connaught Place to highlight their plight," he said.
Even FORDA stressed on the similar lines as it stated, "It is disheartening that even after the directions of Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court, Resident doctors of these hospitals were not paid their due salaries for 4 months and they had to resort to symbolic protest an demonstration, 05/10/2020 onwards."
Though recently 1 month's salary was disbursed, the basic problem still remains and the pending salaries of the remaining 3 months are awaited. Multiple talks with the concerned authorities were held, however, there have been no positive outcomes yet.
With no permanent solution to this chronic issue yet, it is extremely unfortunate that Resident Doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital had to resort to Indefinite Hunger Strike, 23/10/2020, expressed FORDA.