Patients suffer as contract workers of PGI go on strike : The Tribune India

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Patients suffer as contract workers of PGI go on strike

Patients suffer as contract workers of PGI go on strike

chock-a-block: Huge rush at New OPD in PGI on Wednesday. Ravi Kumar



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3

Several patients faced inconvenience at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) as nearly 3,500 outsourced employees staged a protest today.

Outsourced workers stage a protest on Wednesday.

A large number of contract employees struck work to press for “same work, same wages”. Emergency and OPD services were hit due to the protest.

The contract workers, including hospital attendants, clerical staff, sanitation and kitchen staff, lift operators and security guards, also demanded the release of nine of their colleagues from police custody.

“I travelled all the way from Mansa for an abdominal check-up. However, the officials concerned asked me to come some other day. There was a huge rush of patients and only Emergency cases were attended to by doctors. The employees should understand the pain of the patients,” said Raj Kumar, a patient. “There was chaos due to this strike. I had to wait for two hours before my blood sample was taken. I hope, the situation improves soon and patients don’t suffer further,” said Partima, another patient.

“Our nine colleagues should be released. We also demand that our services be regularised and salary hiked, which was promised by PGI Director Vivek Lal in January. We will persist with the strike until our demands are fulfilled,” said a representative of the employees’ union.

Meanwhile, the PGI authorities claimed to have attended several patients in Emergency as well as at outpatient and inpatient departments. A total of 10,973 patients were registered in various outpatient departments and 159 in Emergency. Besides, a total of 110 new patients were admitted to various wards. A total of 207 surgical procedures, including 22 emergency surgeries were performed.

Doctors, already burdened with heavy workloads, were compelled to assume additional responsibilities, including sorting patient cards and calling in patients for consultations.

Outsiders bear the brunt

“I travelled all the way from Mansa for an abdominal check-up. However, the officials concerned asked me to come some other day. The employees should understand the pain of the patients,” said Raj Kumar, a patient.

‘Strike illegal’

Late in the evening, PGI issued a statement regarding the strike. The authorities said the PGI was facing a strike by outsourced employees. This strike is a violation of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had banned strikes and demonstrations in the hospital premises.

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