VIMSAR medicos postpone stir till Jan 31, join work

Bhubaneswar: In a major relief to patients undergoing treatment at Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research (VIMSAR) in Burla, agitating doctors on Thursday decided to put their stir on hold till January 31.

The decision was taken at the general body meeting of the Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) today afternoon. Members of the JDA and resident doctors of the institution, who had joined hands with the striking doctors, also unanimously agreed to join work form today.

“We have decided to postpone our strike till January 31. By doing so, we are giving 10 days’ time to the State government to initiate action to improve conditions of the institution. If it fails to do so, we will again return to agitation and cease work from February 1,” JDA president Shankar Manchandani said.

Today’s development is presumed to be result of Wednesday’s meeting between the JDA delegation and Health minister Atanu Sabysachi Nayak at the secretariat here. Though the 10-member delegation of JDA had said soon after the meeting that the discussion was “conclusive”, it refused to comment on the fate of their stir until a discussion with other members of the doctors’ body.

Sources said the delegation had demanded a written assurance from the minister on their 11-point charter of demands which, however, did not materialise.

About 450 junior doctors and house surgeons have been on strike for the last 11 days.

The demands of the doctors include installation of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, delegation of financial and administrative powers to VIMSAR, shifting of female medicine ward to a new building, strengthening of security on the medical college premises, round-the-clock water and electricity supply at the operation theatre, a labour room, a sick newborn care unit (SNCU), an intensive care unit (ICU), a new medicine ward, a canteen, hostels, an increase in library fund, recruitment of staff for the library, filling up of vacant teaching and non-teaching posts and improvement in the sanitary condition of the institute.