Bhopal: The 21st anniversary of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy was on Saturday 30 doctors of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Center resigned.
The doctors wanted a pay hike. The hospital gets around // 1,000 victims visit for treatment daily. Run by a trust, the BMHRC was set up as a super specialty hospital in 2001. Apart from the survivors of the gas victims, it also treats private patients.
The Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) has been imposed on the junior doctors, under which action can be initiated against them.
"The question is not only about a hike in salaries. The private patients are treated nicely while gas victims are ill-treated in the hospital. So we resigned collectively," said a junior doctor.
The junior doctors had struck work in September during which period two gas victims undergoing treatment in the hospital had died.
"We are over-burdened. When the hospital came up in 2001, the number of patients treated in the hospital that year was 25,000. In 2005, over 100,000 have been treated by us. But the number of staff in the hospital has not increased since 2001," said Arvind Dubey, another junior doctor.
"The junior doctors connived and tendered their resignations collectively on the anniversary of the tragedy to draw attention. But we will continue to treat the patients. Not a single patient will be turned away," said Azizuddin Siddiqui, a trustee of the hospital.
He denied that the gas victims were ill-treated and added that the hospital would appoint new doctors.
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