Agitating VIMSAR junior docs seek meeting with Health minister

Burla: With the cease work of the junior doctors of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) entering the sixth day on Sunday, the agitating medicos have demanded early intervention of the Health and Family Welfare minister for an early solution of the ongoing impasse.

A talks between RDC Northern and the agitating junior doctors in the evening failed. Talking to media persons Dr Shankar Ramchandani, president of Junior Doctors’ Association, VIMSAR, said the cease work would continue until the demands are not met.

Earlier in the day, the junior medicos barged into the office the VIMSAR director in the morning and urged him and other senior officials of the institute to take necessary steps to fulfill their demands.

“The VIMSAR authorities have not taken any steps for fulfillment of our demands. Though they had earlier promised us to fulfill our demands, they have now expressed their inability on the pretext of shortage of staff,” Ramchandani said.

A junior doctor of the institute rued that the Health minister has not bothered to look into the demands of the junior doctors even after six days of their cease work.

“The Health minister, instead of showing his concern, is giving his statement from Bhubaneswar which has deeply hurt us. Through the media, we had requested the Health minister to pay an early visit to this apex learning institute. Let the minister say how long we will continue our strike so that he will be aware of the situation here,” he pointed out.

Replying to a question on what steps the authorities of the institute had taken in this regard, VIMSAR superintendent Dr Laxmikant Das said the sooner the junior doctors join their duty, the better it would be as they are the workforce of this institute.

Admitting that the health services in the hospital had come to a standstill due to the cease work by the junior doctors, Das said considering the demands of the junior doctors, the hospital authorities have decided to shift the female medicine ward.

“Since the construction of the new Medicine ward has not been completed, we have decided to temporarily shift the Female Medicine ward to the two rooms in the ICU and OT complex where we will put up 30 beds,” he added.

Asked whether he has requested the Health minister to visit the institute as per the demands of the junior doctors, Das said the new Dean has the detailed information since he has talked to the Health minister.

The superintendent, however, said the authorities of the institute are aware of the issues of the junior doctors.

“We have taken up their issues seriously. We are always with the junior doctors whose demands are absolutely justified,” he pointed out.

But the striking junior doctors were clearly not impressed with this expression of solidarity.

“We have no faith in our superintendent. He has not taken any steps. Leave alone the Health minister, even the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), district collector and the local MLA have not come here during the last six days of our cease work. It will take less than 20 minutes for the RDC to reach Burla from Sambalpur. We had contacted him over phone this morning and he wanted to know what the demands are. It seems that neither the officials and nor the local MLA want the development of this institute. Such is their attitude that they can even employ a betel shop owner if he knows how to diagnose the patients with a stethoscope,” rued a medico.

It may be mentioned that the Association had submitted a memorandum to the chief minister and Health and Family Welfare minister through the Director, VIMSAR on January 4 in which it had put forth its demands regarding development of VIMSAR and improvement in health services and teaching facilities in the institute.

The Association had served an ultimatum to the state government to fulfill its demands by January 11, failing which the house surgeons and under-graduates had threatened to go on cease work from January 12.

The nine demands of the Association are installation of MRI services in the hospital at the earliest, delegation of power (both financial and administrative) to VIMSAR authority to take independent decisions on behalf of the doctors and patients, shifting of over-crowded female medicine ward to new building, tightening of security of the institution to minimise anti-social activities, round-the-clock supply of electricity and water in labour room, operation theatres, SNCU, ICU, Medicine Ward, UG and PG hostels, increase in library funds and staffs for library for better teaching facilities, filling up of all vacant posts of teaching and non- teaching staffs with immediate effect, working of Regional Diagnostic Centre for 24 hours and establishment of a quality canteen in the hospital premises for doctors and staffs.