Mumbai

After six months without pay, doctors in Mumbai hospital strike

In poor health: The 306-bed Seven Hills Hospital in Marol has 100 doctors on its rolls .

In poor health: The 306-bed Seven Hills Hospital in Marol has 100 doctors on its rolls .  

Patients sent back home after basic tests

Fifty doctors at Seven Hills Hospital in Marol decided to go on indefinite strike from Thursday morning in protest against the non-payment of salaries since July this year.

On Thursday, the shortage of doctors inconvenienced patients who sought treatment at the hospital’s Outpatient Department. Most patients were sent back home after basic tests and asked to return for consultation at a later date. Emergency services, however, remained unaffected. A patient who came from Goregaon said, “A junior doctor asked me to undergo ECG after I complained of chest pain. He then asked me to return for consultation next week.”

The 306-bed hospital has 100 doctors on its rolls, including junior consultants and resident medical officers. However, the doctors said that they could not enter into a dialogue with the management on Thursday.

A doctor, who has been working in the surgery department for the past five years, said, “How long can we survive without a salary? We have defaulted on our loan EMIs. Many doctors have redeemed their fixed deposits to meet daily expenses. Earlier, there were delays of one or two months. But a delay of six months is unacceptable.”

The hospital’s parent body, Seven Hills Healthcare, which runs two hospitals — the other is in Visakhapatnam — declared a debt of $200 million a few months ago. Lenders have now moved the National Company Law Tribunal.

A source from the hospital management said that a decision on paying pending salaries would be made on January 2.

A doctor said, “We are hoping to hear some positive news. We hope the management will streamline all the functional problems that are plaguing the hospital.”

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:57:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/after-six-months-without-pay-doctors-in-city-hospital-strike/article22321123.ece

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