New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the MCDs failure to pay the salaries of hospital staff under them, asking the party to “handover” these health units to the Delhi government if it is not able to pay salaries.
The Delhi Minister’s remarks came in the backdrop of a strike threat by doctors and medical staff of the Kasturba Gandhi and Hindu Rao hospitals in the national capital.
Jain expressed his views after announcing that the Covid-19 patients admitted in these hospitals will be shifted to the Delhi government hospitals by Sunday. Earlier, the resident doctors of North MCD-run Hindu Rao Hospital had threatened to stop Covid services from 9 a.m. on Sunday if they did not get salaries pending for over four months.
The doctors and nursing staff at the hospital are on partial “symbolic indefinite strike” since Monday wherein they refrained from all services, except emergency, and protested daily for two hours in the morning over non-payment of their salaries since June. The Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of Hindu Rao Hospital had told IANS that the decision to strike was taken after their protests did not yield any result.
The Minister said that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi — which is trifurcated into North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation and ruled by the BJP — must release the salaries of the doctors and staff of these hospitals and “if it cannot do that, the hospitals should be handed over to the Delhi government”.
“There are currently 20 Covid patients admitted to Hindu Rao, and they will be shifted to the Delhi government hospitals by Sunday. The patients would have a free hand in choosing the hospitals that they want to be shifted to,” Jain said.
The Minister said that the doctors and medical staff of Hindu Rao Hospital, which is run by the MCD, have given notice of strike. “There are COVID patients admitted to Hindu Rao hospital, and we have directed the authorities to shift them to the Delhi government hospitals.”
“I want to request the MCD to pay the salaries as soon as possible, and if the North MCD cannot pay the salaries of Kasturba Gandhi Hospital and Hindu Rao hospital staff, they can place these hospitals under the Delhi government. We will run these hospitals better than them and release all the salaries to the staff,” he said.
The Minister accused the BJP of “playing politics with the health of the patients”.
Jain said he doesn’t think the BJP-run MCDs are short of funds. “They impose heavy taxes on people and collect hefty money but nobody knows where that money goes. Their job is to play politics and blame games. Even after the directions of the central government on the removal of health licenses, they did not do it,” he added.