New Delhi, Oct 24 : : The corporation-run Hindu Rao Hospital (HRH) has transferred four of its senior doctors to the Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis (RBIPMT) with immediate effect after they decided to join the ongoing protest by resident doctors on Saturday.
The development has come as the Municipal Corporation Doctors' Association (MCDA) held a general body meeting with the resident doctors of HRH today to plan the further course of action. The Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of HRH alleged that the transfer orders had been issued to senior doctors after they decided to join them in the protest.
"This has been done to curb our protest which is turning into a mass movement. We are getting support from all the hospitals in Delhi including AIIMS. However, such techniques would not shake our resolve to carve out a final solution to the recurring issue of salary delay," stated Sagardeep Bawa, vice-president, RDA HRH.
IANS tried to contact hospital authorities, but they remained unavailable for comment.
When IANS approached Jai Prakash, Mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North MCD), he initially told us that he is unaware of the matter.
Later, Prakash called to inform IANS that the transfer has been done as part of routine practice. "It's a routine practice. Nothing to relate with their (senior doctors) decision to join the protest," he added.
However, he did not offer an explanation of the reason behind the transfer. Despite the clarification by Prakash, the timing of the transfer is set to raise eyebrows.
Meanwhile, the resident doctors of HRH have started their indefinite hunger strike from Friday evening after the authorities failed to ensure timely release of pending salaries. Dr Ambimanyu Sardana, president of the hospital's RDA told IANS that five residents (doctors) are observing the hunger strike at the main gate of the hospital.
"The agitation will continue until our demands are met and salaries are not cleared," said he added.
Earlier, the association had written to authorities and the medical superintendent of Hindu Rao Hospital, saying that they would go on an indefinite hunger strike from 4 pm on Friday if their demands are not met.
"...due to non-payment of salaries for three months, we have decided that if our demands are not resolved on an urgent basis then our five residents would be going on indefinite hunger strike commencing from 4 pm today i.e. October 23," the letter said.
The doctors have been protesting for several weeks and demanding the release of their salary for the last three months. Siddharth Tara, one of the five doctors sitting on the hunger strike, said, "We have been receiving verbal assurances only. It won't feed us and our families. We need salaries and a permanent solution to the issue. Till then, we will continue with our strike." The resident doctors of the North MCD-run Kasturba Hospital and RBIPMT have also been protesting over non-payment of their salary. Sporting black armbands and shouting slogans, several resident doctors of the three hospitals held a joint protest at Jantar Mantar on Thursday.