Patiala (Punjab): Continuing their strike due to non-payment of salaries for months, medical teachers and doctors of Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Banur, have started seeing patients in tent and have also told the students to meet them in the tent.
“We have kept our strike going, we have started seeing patients in tent. We have told all the students that whoever wants to study can get to us here in the tent. Our fight is with the management and that too for our rights, not with the patients. Also, we don’t want to spoil the career of students, so we will be teaching and guiding the students who will reach us,” a striking doctor told India Medical Times on Saturday requesting his name not to be disclosed.
The management of Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Banur, on Friday withdrew the termination letter issued on Wednesday to 11 employees, including four doctors and other technical as well as nursing staff, following the staff agitation due to non-payment of their salaries for months.
According to students of the medical college, they had been unable to attend their classes since February 25, as the faculty members of the college went on an indefinite strike protesting non-payment of their salaries.
While announcing that the medical college and hospital would commence operations from 9 a.m. on April 7, the management had on April 6 warned the faculty and other staff to resume their duty or face termination.
“As per the discussion in an open house in which faculty, parents, students and management participated, a decision was finalized to start classes from tomorrow (Thursday), so, you (the faculty) are hereby requested to resume your duty positively at 9 a.m. tomorrow otherwise your service stands terminated,” the medical college management said on April 6.
On April 8, the medical college’s management said, “All the termination orders issued on 7th and 8th of April 2016 to the faculty and staff stand cancelled and all the faculty and staff is requested to join now as two (months’) salaries has been disbursed.”
Earlier a striking doctor had told IMT, “We had words with Hussan Lal, Secretary, Medical Education. The director (Dr Manjit Kaur Mohi, Director, Medical Education) held a meeting with the college’s management and staff and heard both sides of the story. While the staff members were adamant on the release of their salaries, at least two (months’) salaries, in order to resume work, the management urged that they should join the work tomorrow (Friday) itself and that their salaries would be transferred in their account.”
“Dr M K Mohi of DRME (Directorate of Research and Medical Education) had also reached the college campus but till now there has not been any change in the situation as the strike is going on. Now the doctors have put their tents in front of the college,” the doctor said, adding, “It’s been a very long struggle and is now turning into the toughest fight as till now we have not got any positive response from the management side.”
Another striking doctor said, “It’s been months we have not got our salaries. In the meeting day before yesterday we told them that we are ready to join but at least pay our two months’ salaries now and the rest till 30th April 2016, but when the management didn’t agree on this, we even said that just provide us in writing that all our dues will be cleared, then we are ready to join. But they were not ready to provide in writing.
“When we asked Hussan Lal jee to provide the written assurance he said only the management will provide it, but we all have seen the management’s stand. They always keep on making promises to clear our salaries but till now they have done nothing. Rather than providing our salaries they are providing us termination letter.”
According to the students, few classes of the first year batch have been resumed but not all. “We are still not sure about the status of the classes as many of our teachers have left the job or are on strike,” a student told India Medical Times.
“Some classes in the Microbiology and Medicine departments have been resumed, and in Surgery, residents are taking classes who were not at all the part of the strike,” another student told IMT.
“We all have got assurance from Hussan Lal sir that we will get our two months’ salaries by Tuesday; so, we are waiting for that. The time we get our salaries we will get back to the work,” a doctor added.
by Pooja Pandey
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